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Volume 57, Number 1 
Spring, '1985 


The function of the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Department is 
to collect and preserve materials which tell the story of Wyoming. It maintains the state's 
historical library and research center, the Wyoming State Museum and branch museums, 
the State Art Gallery and the State Archives. The Department solicits original records such 
as diaries, letters, books, early newspapers, maps, photographs and art and records of early 
businesses and organizations as well as artifacts for museum display. The Department asks 
for the assistance of all Wyoming citizens to secure these documents and artifacts. Depart- 
ment facilities are designed to preserve these materials from loss and deterioration. 


Frank Bowron, Casper, Chairman 

Lucille Clarke Dumbrill, Newcastle 

Dave Paulley, Cheyenne 

Mary Sawaya, Kemmerer 

Tom Mangan, Laramie 

Bill Bruce Hines, Gillette 

Marion Barngrover, Worland 

Gladys Hill, Douglas 

Mary Guthrie, Attorney General's Office (ex officio) 

ABOUT THE COVER— Evocative of summer on the high plains of the Rocky Mountain West, the 
watercolor "Sunflowers" was done by Jessie Scott of Haxtun, Colorado. Rightly named, these blossoms 
reflect the brightness and cheer of the season, and generate a saucy kind of enthusiasm. Mrs. Scott 
has been interested in art since she received her first set of paints at the age of eleven. Since then she 
has worked in oils and watercolors and has done sculpture. She enjoys doing landscapes, including 
old barns, soddies and windmills. She is particularly sensitive to the beauty and excitement of Western 
skies and endeavors to record the moods of the prairies. In doing so, she combines artistry with careful 
craftsmanship and provides a fine visual legacy for her public. This painting is in a private collection. 




Ed Herschler 


Dr. Robert D. Bush 


William H. Barton 


Jean Brainerd 
Rick Ewig 
Thelma Crown 
Roger Joyce 


Kathy Martinez 
Ann Nelson 


Paula West-Chavoya 
Carroll Jones 
Ed Fowler 


William H. Barton 

Volume 57, No. 1 
Spring, 1985 


, Ab>7 


by John S. Gray 



by Carol Hunter 


1st Sgt., Co. H. 3rd Cavalry 

edited by Thomas R. Buecker 

by Sheila Sundquist Peel 



FEEDING THE MINES: The Development 
of Supply Centers for the Goldfields . . . 
by Randall E. Rohe 







University of Wyoming 


ANNALS OF WYOMING is published biannually in the Spring and Fall by the Wyoming 
State Press. It is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical Society as the of 
ficial publication of that organization. Copies of previous and current issues may be purchased 
from the Editor. Correspondence should be addressed to the Editor. Published articles repre- 
sent the views of the author and are not necessarily those nl the Wyoming State Archives, 
Museums and Historical Department or the Wyoming State Historical Society. ANNAl S OF 
WYOMINC; articles are abstracted in Historical Abstracts. America: History and 1 ife. 
1 Copyright 1 C| HS by the Wyoming State Press 


Part II 

Continued from Volume 56, Number 2 

John S. Cray 

As Browne's description hinted, the real test of the cen- 
tral route was about to come in the season of winter storms 
in the mountains. Hockaday could only try to locate 
enough mountain stations so that in case of a storm, pas- 
sengers could hole up in safety while the mail bags were 
put through on pack mules. The most elevated, exposed 
and isolated station was Gilbert's, only nine miles east of 
wind-swept South Pass. In September, Frederick W. 
Lander, successor to Magraw as leader of the Pacific Wagon 
Road Expedition, had assigned an old mountaineer named 
Charles H. Miller, to keep a weather log at Gilbert's Sta- 
tion. 38 His records reveal that the worst storm in the 
memory of oldtimers raged from December 1-3, 1858, 
with heavy snow, fierce winds and record low tempera- 
tures. This was so early in the season that the next station 
to the east was still 85 miles distant at Devil's Gate, and 
the next one to the west was 75 miles away on Green River 
at the mouth of Big Sandy Creek. (See beyond for a possi- 
ble correction of this location.) And at that critical moment, 
Hockaday mails were due from both east and west. 39 

The westbound mail had left St. Joseph on November 
13, with conductor W. J. Brooks, assistant Bevins and one 
passenger, Indian Agent Jarvis for the Snake Indians of 
Carson Valley. The party reached Devil's Gate Station on 
schedule, November 28. A threatening snowstorm 
prompted them to hole up in a willow grove on Rocky 
Ridge, only eight miles from. Gilbert's Station, on Novem- 
ber 30. By morning the storm had struck, holding them 
in camp for three and a half days, while the men suffered 
severely and nine of their ten mules froze to death. Aban- 
doning the mail and baggage, they plowed on again with 
the last of the mules at 2 p.m. on December 4. For five 

hours they bucked eight miles of drifts to struggle to 
Gilbert's at 7 p.m. Agent Jarvis was badly chilled, but the 
two conductors who had kept him relatively protected, ar- 
rived with severely frozen extremities. 

The eastbound mail had left Salt Lake City on Novem- 
ber 27, with conductors Routh and Alex Montrey, as well 
as two passengers, John M. Guthrie of Weston, Missouri, 
and G. A. Beardley of New York. Previous storms had left 
twenty inches of snow in the valley, but six feet on the 
summit of Big Mountain, sixteen miles out. The party tried 
to make up the resulting delay by traveling after dark, only 
to lose their way, miss stations and have to camp out. On 
November 30, they dragged into Big Sandy Station on 
Green River, 167 miles out, exhausted and already suffer- 
ing from frostbite. Although the big storm struck them that 
night, they took the trail again at 2 p.m. the next afternoon. 
By nightfall they had climbed but twenty miles into the 
teeth of the blizzard and huddled all night in a freezing 
camp. They struggled on the next morning for eight more 
miles before admitting that to continue on spelled death. 
They about-faced, in dire straits, but with the wind at their 
backs made the 28 miles to Big Sandy Station again. 

At this point, Division Agent Ashton took over, add- 
ing to the original party two more employees, Dan Hard- 
ing and "Texas," as well as two more passengers, a Dr. 
Shaw and a government agent, Mr. Meade. During a lull 
in the blow on the morning of December 3, all nine started 
up the trail again with fresh mules. With Ashton breaking 
trail, they pushed doggedly on to reach the summit of 
South Pass at nightfall, when a renewed headwind with 
blowing snow obliterated the trail and visibility. Heading 
straight into the gale as the only means of holding a course, 

they luckily struck the head of the Sweetwater, where they 
made a cold camp, exhausted. Some feet were so frozen 
and swollen that boots had to be cut off, with no replace- 
ments save spare moccasins. Early on December 4, they 
abandoned the mail, baggage and mules to plow on afoot, 
those still fit carrying those disabled. At 8 a.m. they stum- 
bled into Gilbert's station, again with passengers badly 
chilled, but the self-sacrificing employees so frozen that 
they feared for the life of Alex Montrey and for the hands 
and feet of Routh and Ashton. 

Henry Gilbert, Charles Miller and the station hands 
turned their quarters into a hospital, where the grateful 
passengers became nurses for the men who had spared 
them. Yet true to the mail tradition, someone immediately 
ventured out to lug in the mail bags abandoned that morn- 
ing at South Pass. And that evening, when the westbound 
party straggled in, Gilbert started out after their abandoned 
mail, taking a wagon and three of his men, Thompson, 
Hurd and Sol Gee. They had to camp out that night, but 
returned safely the next morning. 

Charles Miller and William Clark took the westbound 
mail on to reach Salt Lake on December 14. Indian Agent 
Jarvis remained some weeks at Gilbert's to help nurse the 
frozen men and so did not reach Salt Lake until December 
31, with a later mail. It was mountain man Sol Gee who 
conducted the eastbound mail on, leaving so few able men 
at Gilbert's that when the next mail arrived from Salt Lake, 
which it had left on December 4, passenger John M. 
Guthrie volunteered to take the bags on to Fort Laramie, 
where a regular crew took over and he reverted to pas- 
senger status. These facts indicate that by this time the mail 
crews were normally operating only within their own divi- 
sions. Guthrie's account also reveals that at Cottonwood 
Springs on the Platte, he met Hockaday (about December 
14) bringing out an additional herd of mules to distribute 
on the line. 

Browne's description of the Hockaday line, quoted in 
part above, also carried a significant paragraph on the 
discriminatory actions of the Post Office Department: 

It may not generally be known that the quantity of mail matter 
conveyed to Salt Lake City averages 13 to 15 sacks weekly. We are in- 
formed that if the same facilities were granted to the St. Joseph to 
Placerville route as to its southern neighbor, the mail could be 
transported over it with equal if not superior speed. As it is, the 
subdivision of the line— the Salt Lake contract held by Hockaday 
& Co., and the Placerville contract by G. Chorpenning & Co.— and 
the refusal of the President, by his veto, to shorten the contracted 
running time, prohibited competition between it and the Butterfield 
route, by which alone their relative merits could be tested. Add to 
this the fact that the line via Salt Lake is reduced to a near local route 
by being encumbered with a large newspaper mail [meaning that 
first class mail to California was all diverted to the Butterfield line], 
and it will be seen that a discrimination has been made in favor of 
the southern route. Messrs. Hockaday and Chorpenning have no 
inducement to run their mails faster than contract time. 40 

Smarting under such persistent discrimination, it is not 
surprising to find that the contractors on the central route 

organized a grandstand play to force public recognition. 
This was revealed in a dispatch of November 27, from Salt 
Lake City, which was so delayed by the big snowstorm 
as not to appear in the New York Times until January 2, 1859: 
We understand that the energetic contractors, Messrs. Chorpen- 
ning & Co, and Hockaday, Burr & Co., contemplate expressing the 
President's Message through to California, immediately after its 
delivery, in fifteen days from Washington to San Francisco, and thus 
demonstrate the entire practicability of transmitting the mails with 
speed and promptness over this great central route, even in winter. 

The scheme consisted of having copies of the Presi- 
dent's Annual Message delivered into the hands of agents 
of the mail contractors on both the central and southern 
route simultaneously, as the starting gun for a public race 
to California that would convince the nation that the 
shorter central route was also the better. Fortunately for 
Hockaday and Chorpenning, better weather would prevail 
after the big storm, but alas, they failed again to reckon 
with the duplicity of a sectionalist president. 

Although the message would not be sent to Congress 
until December 6, 1858, special messenger A. R. Corbin 
would leave Washington by the afternoon train of 
December 3, bearing advance copies to the agents of Hock- 
aday and Butterfield awaiting him in St. Louis. This 
choice of St. Louis for the starting gate favored Butterfield, 
for his first 160 miles to Tipton were by rail, whereas 
Hockaday had to cover twice this distance over wintry 
roads to reach St. Joseph. Even with this advantage, 
Buchanan had second thoughts about exposing his pet 
southern route to possible defeat. Even before Mr. Corbin 
boarded his train that December 3, the Washington cor- 
respondent of the San Francisco Alta California had ferreted 
out the President's duplicity: 

The contractors over the Salt Lake route had made arrangements, 
at a cost of $8,000 to carry the Message by express over the line, 
but the President has refused up to this hour to let them have it, 
although urged to do so by several Members of Congress, whose 
constituents are immediately interested in this route. Should Mr. 
Buchanan persist to the last in his refusal, the Hon. Mr. Craig, of 
Mo., will come out in a card tomorrow, denouncing the President 
for partiality and charging upon him a determination to foster the 
southern route at the expense of the Salt Lake route. 41 

A St. Louis dispatch of December 7, revealed that Mr. 
Corbin had arrived there on the afternoon of the 5th. At 
an early hour the next morning, Butterfield's special ex- 
pressman, Mr. Pardee, left by rail with his copy of the 
message for Tipton, authorized to proceed on horseback, 
if necessary, to make a record run to San Francisco. The 
dispatch carried the tag-line: "Extensive preparations were 
made by the contractors on the Salt Lake route to express 
the documents through, but they failed to receive 
copies." 42 

Hockaday's frustrated agent fidgeted in St. Louis, 
reduced to waiting for the regular press copy of the 
message to come through. It had not arrived by the after- 
noon of December 8, though the agent was still waiting, 
his company having placed "a large number o\ extra horses 


on the route for relays." The message was published in 
the St. Louis papers undoubtedly at the same time as in 
Chicago's, December 9, which is the date Hockaday's 
agent is reported to have left St. Louis for St. Joseph. 43 
Hockaday's special expressman, waiting impatiently 
at St. Joseph, did not dash out from there with the printed 
message until December 14— eight days after Butterfield's 
man left Tipton. The President had neatly sabotaged the 
venture as a race, but Hockaday's men did make incredi- 
ble time, as a Salt Lake City correspondent reported under 
date of January 1, 1859: 

We were most agreeably disappointed last Saturday evening- 
Christmas Day— by the arrival of the express with the President's 
Message, through in eleven days from St. Joseph to this city. In conse- 
quence of the severe and almost incessant storms which have pre- 
vailed for the past five weeks, we had abandoned all hopes of receiv- 
ing the Message by express, and least of all in so short a time. As 
it was, the expressman was compelled to walk twenty miles through 
the snow on one occasion and he was a whole day coming over Big 
Mountain into this city, some twenty miles, in consequence of the 
trails made by the mail trains becoming filled with drifting snow 
to the depth of eight feet. The Message was immediately forwarded 
to California by the contractors on the route from here to Placerville 

The contractors on this route assert most positively that they 
can forward the mails across the plains with the same speed at which 
they have forwarded the President's Message, if their compensa- 
tion can be so augmented as to place them on an equal footing with 
the southern route and enable them to place their stations at regular 
intervals of twenty miles each instead of sixty or seventy, as they 
are now compelled to do. The snow would then be an obstacle easily 
surmounted, for the trails between stations would be readily kept 
open . . , 44 

If Hockaday's man left St. Joseph on December 14, the 
running time to Salt Lake City was actually twelve days, 
instead of the eleven claimed above, but these calculations 
were often made as the difference between starting and 
arrival dates, even when they should have been inclusive 
days. Chorpenning's expressman delivered the message 
to Placerville on January 1, seven days from Salt Lake City 
and nineteen inclusive days from St. Joseph. This was a 
record run indeed, and beat Butterfield's time, though not 
his date. His headstart enabled Butterfield to deliver the 
message to San Francisco at 3 a.m., December 26, even 
though it took 21 inclusive days from Tipton. The Presi- 
dent's duplicity had thus completely negated the money 
and effort Hockaday and Chorpenning had invested in 
their grandstand play for recognition. 45 

Before this mail race fiasco had been played out, Hock- 
aday had been in Atchison energetically and optimistically 
improving and expanding his enterprise. One of the ma- 
jor events of the summer of 1858 was the gold strike at 
"Pike's Peak," though the location was on Cherry Creek 
adjacent to the about-to-be-born Denver and its short-lived 
rival, Auraria. The exciting news, carried eastward in part 
by Hockaday's personnel and passengers, would trigger 
a gold rush the following spring. The first disclosure of 
Hockaday's reaction appeared in the Champion of 

September 25, 1858: "Hockaday, Burr & Co., the Salt Lake 
Mail contractors, will run a line of coaches from Atchison 
to the mines, and so keep us informed of the news there." 
Even without setting up a branch-line to Denver, expand- 
ing the number of stations and underwriting a mail race 
must have exhausted Hockaday's own limited means. 
Hence, it is not surprising that in October, 1858, he had 
formed a new partnership, known as Hockaday, Liggitt 
& Co., with a wealthy Mr. William Liggitt. 

Thus fortified, Hockaday soon went out to supervise 
operations on the line in person, as revealed by passenger 
Guthrie's meeting him at Cottonwood Springs about De- 
cember 18. Among other things, he recruited John S. Tutt, 
former sutler at Fort Laramie and present sutler at Camp 
Walbach, a small, temporary military post just erected at 
Cheyenne Pass (west of present Cheyenne, Wyoming), to 
scout out the best trail for a branch stage line to the new 
gold fields. Rumors of this activity soon spread to Auraria, 
whence John Scudder wrote on January 25, 1859, that "Mr. 
Hockaday is now on the road making arrangements for 
his mail line from Atchison to Denver." 46 

When the January 15 mail from Salt Lake, carrying 
passengers Chorpenning and David H. Burr, rolled into 
Devil's Gate Station, Burr dropped off for a week's layover, 
while Hockaday took his place on the stage. At Fort 
Laramie about January 22, Hockaday talked with Big Phil 
Gardner, an old mountain man who had left Auraria on 
January 15, to carry letters to and from the miners winter- 
ing there. Both Big Phil and Jim Sanders were making these 
mail trips and collecting a fee for each letter so carried. This 
may have sparked Hockaday's interest in a mail contract 
to the mines. In any case, the coach whipped into Atchison 
on January 31, pleasing Hockaday with a mid-winter run 
of only seventeen days. 47 

The next week's eastbound mail made another fast 
trip, delivering passengers Burr and John S. Tutt to At- 
chison on February 7. Tutt undoubtedly reported to Hocka- 
day on his scouting trip, of which the Champion of February 
12, related: "Mr. Tutt has just returned from an exploring 
expedition on which he was sent by the Salt Lake Mail 
company, to select the best and shortest route from 
O'Fallon's Bluffs to the gold mines. He went to the mines 
and found the miners all doing well. The road he explored 
is the one on which Hockaday & Co. intend running their 
line of daily stages from here to the mines." 

As of February 1, Postmaster General Brown adver- 
tised for bids to carry the mail on several new routes to 
the gold mines, the bids to be due in Washington by April 
1, and decisions to be announced by April 25. The first 
notice of these requests for bids appeared in the Atchison 
Champion of February 26, where Hockaday would have 
seen it. To the description of "Rte. No. 15706, from the 
Crossing of the South Platte to Auraria, 240 miles and back, 
weekly," the editor added in parentheses: "This line will 
connect with Hockaday, Burr & Co.'s Great Salt Lake 

Mail." A number of other news items bearing initial Feb- 
ruary datelines, referred to Hockaday's daily line to the 
mines, some hinting that it might follow the "parallel" 
route running due west of Atchison. 

By this time, Hockaday had located his main stage ter- 
minal at Atchison, bringing the mail directly there from 
St. Joseph, over the ice in winter, by ferryboat in summer. 
His service was running with exemplary regularity, averag- 
ing less than twenty days running time. Contrary to a 
widespread misconception, he had put at least 36 stations 
into operation, as documented by Obridge Allen's Guide 
to the Gold Fields, published at Washington in the spring 
of 1859. Allen was not only an old mountain man with 
years of experience in guiding army explorers over western 
trails, but also had access to army maps and officers' travel 
journals. His book is thus more reliable in its details and 
mileages than most. Having just guided a battalion of 
cavalry from Salt Lake to the States, he arrived at In- 
dependence in late October, 1858, whence he proceeded 
to Washington. 48 He may have gathered his information 
on mail stations straight from Hockaday, either at Atchison 
or Washington, for which city Hockaday left about the end 
of February, 1868. Allen's Guide names and numbers all 
the Hockaday mail stations from Atchison to Salt Lake 
City, a condensed version of which is presented in Table 1. 

Table. 1 Hockaday Salt Lake Mail Stations, Spring 1859 (From O. Allen, 
Guide to the Gold Fields, Washington, 1859) 

' Miles 
No. Name of Location Between Cumulative 

DIVISION 1-278 mi. 

1. Atchison 

2. Mormon Grove 3 3 

3. Kinney Kirk 29 32 

4. Lockman's (Muddy Cr.) 21 53 

5. Seneca (Nemaha R.) 20 73 

6. Vermillion Cr 24 97 

7. Big Blue R. (Marysville) 21 118 

8. Cottonwood Cr 12 130 

9. Rock Cr. (Turkey Cr.) 20 150 

10. Big Sandy Cr. (Dan Patterson Ranch) 19 169 

Little Blue R (187) 

11. Oak Grove (Majors and Russell's Store) . . 38 207 

12. Junction (with Ft. Riley Road) 19 226 

13. Thirty-Two Mile Cr 19 245 

14. - - (Hopeville, on Platte R.) 25 270 

Fort Kearnv (278) 

DIVISION 2-332 mi. 

15. (Kearny City) 11 

16. Plum Cr 31 

17. (Coldwater?) 26 

18. Cottonwood Springs 23 

19. O'Fallon's Bluffs 39 

20. Laramie Crossing of So. Platte 40 

21. Ash Hollow (on No. Platte) 18 

22. Rush Cr 40 

23. Scott's Bluffs 57 

24. Beauvais' Trading Post 50 

Fort Laramie 

DIVISION 3-280 mi. 

Horseshoe Cr 42 

LaBonte Cr 29 

Box Elder Cr 30 

Deer Cr 

Platte Bridge 

Red Buttes 47 

Independence Rock (on Sweetwater R.) . . . 

Devil's Gate 44 

Split Rock^ 1 15 

Three Crossings of the Sweetwater 

Gilbert's (last crossing of the Sweetwater). 69 
South Pass Summit 

DIVISION 4-233 mi. 

Lower Crossing of Big Sandy Cr 

32. Mo. of Big Sandy on Green R. b 66 

33. Ham's Fork 24 

Fort Bridger 

34. Muddy Cr 42 

Bear R. Crossing 

35. Mo. of Echo Cr. on Weber R. (Bromley's) . 54 

36. Salt Lake City 47 










(SMI I) 







a. Split Kmk Station may be an error; by |une, 1859 Greeley mentions a station .it Ihtve 
Crossings (mile 824). 

b Greeley names no station at Green R., but locates Big Sandy Station .11 it- lowei crossing 
(mile l M4) 

c. Greeley mentions a station (later called Mountain Dell), 13 mi. from Salt 1 ake City, in 
the vallej between Big and 1 ittle Mountains, 

Deer Creek Station in Division 3 was a snug log compound and furnished a respite for stage travelers. 

Perhaps Hockaday, still optimistic, had come to Wash- 
ington to seek a generous contract for a Denver mail; or 
he may have become alarmed over the bitter debates in 
Congress on the enormous postal deficits incurred by the 
policy of liberal subsidies. In either case, he was un- 
doubtedly shocked when Congress adjourned on March 
5, without settling the issue and without passing the an- 
nual postal appropriation bill. 49 The helpless postal depart- 
ment could honor none of its pay obligations except with 
certificates of indebtedness, which contractors could con- 
vert to cash only at a severe discount. 

As an indication that he foresaw trouble, Hockaday ap- 
peared at the Post Office Department on March 7, and 
received the following commendation in writing from the 
Inspection Office: 

The department can safely assure you that you have performed 
the mail service upon route No. 8911, St. Joseph to Salt Lake City, in 
a manner highly creditable to yourself as contractor . . .; that there 
have been no fines imposed for irregular or improper service; and 
that the mails have been conveyed with great regularity through the 
most trying season of the year. All of which is evidence that the route 
is well stocked and in good condition. 50 

The very next day, March 8, Postmaster General 
Brown, the exponent of the subsidizing policy, died. His 
successor was Joseph Holt, a determined champion of the 
opposite policy— that every mail route must pay for itself 
out of the revenues it earned. 51 He rejected every one of 
numerous bids submitted for a Denver mail and Hocka- 
day did not even bother to submit a bid. Perhaps he aban- 
doned his plan for a stage line, branch or direct, to Denver 
on learning John S. Jones and William H. Russell were 
already promoting an ambitious line from Leavenworth 
directly to Denver— the Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Ex- 
press Company. This firm badly needed a mail contract 

with subsidy and finally managed to get one of sorts. The 
story is told in two Washington dispatches: 

Washington, March 23:-A post office has been established at 
Coraville, Pike's Peak region, and Matthias Snyder, formerly of 
Virginia, is appointed post master. The contract for daily mail ser- 
vice from Leavenworth to Coraville has been given to Ben 
McCullough and Benjamin F. Ficklin. Extensive arrangements are 
being made by them for the transportation of passengers also. 52 

Washington, March 26:-The contract for carrying the mail from 
Leavenworth to Coraville, Pike's Peak region, was made under the 
Act of 1825, authorizing the establishment of special post offices to 
be sustained from their net proceeds; and such is the arrangement 
in this case that the compensation is in no event to exceed $500 per 
annum. If the Post Office Route Bill had passed and the contract been 
made under it, this service would have cost $20-40,000 a year. The 
contractors will be mainly compensated for their outlay in the car- 
rying of passengers. 53 

It was actually passenger service which required a sub- 
sidy and the "net proceeds" mentioned above would not 
even pay for the mail. But if events are proof, there was 
nothing to prevent such a contractor from charging his own 
additional fee from the sender or receiver of a letter at the 
"Coraville Post-Off ice, " which was nothing but a sign on 
the Denver office of Jones and Russell's Leavenworth & 
Pike's Peak Express Company, 54 of which Benjamin F. 
Ficklin was one of ten share-holders. This unique device 
yielded a nice revenue to the express company, but drew 
howls of protests from miners thus compelled to ransom 
stamped letters from a U.S. Post Office! 

Besides withholding new contracts, Holt was casting 
a jaundiced eye on contracts already in force. He found, 
for example, that the $600,000 Butterfield contract earned 
postage revenue of $27,229.94, and the $320,000 Hockaday- 
Chorpenning contracts only $5,412.03 (franked "Pub. 
Docs." earned no revenue!). 55 The magnitude of this 

deficit may have been surprising, but subsidizing contracts 
had been specifically designed to pay off in ways deemed 
more valuable than stamp money. Whether mail service 
should be subsidized or self-supporting was the very issue 
that Congressional debate had failed to settle, but Holt 
resolved to reverse the prevailing philosophy, single- 
handed, while Congress was adjourned. 

Holt, also a Southerner, was scarcely inclined to 
tamper with the ironclad Butterfield contract, but those of 
Hockaday and Chorpenning were another matter. On 
March 26, Assistant Postmaster General William H. Dun- 
das called Hockaday to his office and told him that since 
Congress had failed to appropriate postal funds, he was 
requesting the contractor to submit a proposal for reduc- 
ing his mail service from weekly to semi-monthly, at a cor- 
responding reduction in pay. Hockaday could only have 
viewed this as an attempt to induce him to volunteer a 
financially suicidal violation of his own contract in order 
to spare the postal department embarrassment. 

On March 28, Hockaday calmly wrote Holt that since 
such reduction in service would actually increase his ex- 
penses by doubling the mail load, personnel, stock and 
wagons per trip, a corresponding reduction in pay would 
work a serious injustice. He further pointed out that his 
expenses to date (eleven months) in stocking and equipping 
his line for the contracted weekly service were $394,000, 
which he could scarcely recover on reduced pay. (His pay 
for these eleven months was $173,250, or less than half his 
expenses, revealing the extent of his borrowing.) He, 
therefore, volunteered no proposal, but concluded: 

The failure of Congress in providing funds for the support of 
the postal service, is of itself well calculated to shake the credit of con- 
tractors . . . While I am willing to carry on my service until Con- 
gress provides for payment of contractors, I am constrained to ad- 
mit my inability to accomplish the same if any material change [reduc- 
tion] is made in the character [frequency] of the service, or any 
diminution of the compensation on which I have relied to meet the 
expenditures already incurred in establishing my route. 56 

Despite this reasonable stand, Dundas notified Hocka- 
day on April 7 (the letter itself is missing from the record), 
that Holt had decided to reduce the service to semi- 
monthly. Hockaday replied in writing on April 10, again 
first pointing out that no one regretted more than payless 
contractors the department's shortage of funds. He then 
revealed his intention to seek redress from Congress: 

I shall . . . continue to run my carriages over the line weekly 
. . . and will convey . . . [the mail] once a week, relying on Con- 
gress to allow me the difference between the price fixed by the 
department for the [reduced] service ordered and my original con- 
tract price, as this is the only method I can see of protecting my 
securities [i.e., bondsmen] and myself from ruin and loss . . . 

It is true that there is an express reservation in my contract 
authorizing . . . [you] to diminish the service, in certain contingen- 
cies, to semi-monthly. [Why did Hockaday not quote the rest of this 
clause— "at $190,000 a year," the full contract price?] . . . 

Had such contingencies arisen . . . the reduction of compen- 
sation . . . would then be a matter of equitable adjustment . . . but 
certainly not a question to be determined by either party to the con- 
tract without the assent of the other. 57 

When Hockaday later submitted his claim to Congress, 
the key issues became: a) was the reason for curtailing ser- 
vice in accord with the contract ?, and b) was the pay reduc- 
tion in accord with the contract? A Senate Committee re- 
quested Holt to furnish relevant documents from his files. 
Conspicuously missing from the irrelevant and "cover-up" 
documents thus furnished were the orders to Hockaday 
that should have spelled out the contract provisions that 
justified Holt's actions. Hockaday's replies consistently 
give Congressional delinquency as the reason for curtail- 
ment. In the absence of Holt's orders, we can confirm this 
only by quoting a similar order to Chorpenning of April 
8, 1859: 

Owing to the financial pressure upon this department resulting 
from the failure of Congress to pass the Post Office Appropriation 
bills, it becomes necessary, in the opinion of the Postmaster General 
to curtail service. He orders that trips on . . . [your route] be reduced 
to semi-monthly from the 1st of July next. 58 




;>«».'*• -. 

Prior to the construction of the transcontinental railroad, freighting outfits such as this supplied consumer goods to people in the West. 

Coaches of this 
sort were a 
common sight 
in the mid 
19th century, 
mail and 
travelers . . . 

On receiving Hockaday's notice that he would peti- 
tion Congress, Holt must have realized that curtailment 
because of a delinquent Congress was a blatant violation 
of the contract. He tried to repair the damage by having 
Dundas write to Hockaday on April 12, introducing a new 
reason for curtailment: 

It was not merely in consequence of the failure of Congress to ap- 
prioriate necessary sums . . . but because he deemed the weekly 
service needless for the public wants; that, in fact, the state of things 
contemplated by the reservation in the contract had occurred . 
[Holt] therefore insists that the order for curtailment be made ab- 
solute . . . after the 1st of July next . . , 59 

Since the Salt Lake route was carrying a good deal 
more mail than when it started a year earlier, Holt's reason- 
ing in deeming it suddenly "needless" is remarkably 
obscure. The majority of the Senate Committee would ex- 
press its opinion of Holt's tortured reasoning by reporting 
that it was "satisfied that if the Post Office appropriation 
bill had passed ... no reduction would have been made 
in the service on the route." 60 

Holt's withholding of pertinent documents even leaves 
it uncertain as to when Hockaday was notified that his com- 
pensation was cut from $190,000 to $125,000 per year; the 
Committee majority implied April 7, and the minority April 
14. Hockaday had been warned of a pro-rata reduction of 
50%, and may have been surprised when it ultimately 
proved to be 34.2%. A year later Holt admitted to Con- 
gress that this violation of his "inflexible" pro-rata rule was 
due to "the pressure of unusual circumstances." 61 The cir- 
cumstances were indeed unusual: his reason for curtail- 
ment violated the contract; the contract spelled out full pay 
for half service, and a month's extra pay for any service 
curtailed! The latter was not even offered until a year late. 

In one energetic year, Hockaday had succeeded in 
establishing the first reliable mail service to Salt Lake City, 
and was well on the way to developing a first-class stage 
line, despite persistent discrimination from a sectionalist 
administration, but— largely on credit. At this crucial mo- 
ment, a delinquent Congress delayed and discounted his 
pay and an arbitrary bureaucrat scheduled it for drastic 
reduction. Such ominous actions could not fail to bring a 
swarm of frightened creditors clamoring for their money— 
and Hockaday's ruin. In desperation he sped west to 
salvage what he could. He quickly made a forced sale to 
a splurging new competitor— Jones and Russell's Leaven- 
worth and Pikes Peak Express Co., so needful of a better 
mail contract. 

Jones and Russell had sent their first pair of passenger 
coaches from Leavenworth on April 8, to complete a 
twenty-day trip over their newly-stocked route along the 
Solomon and Republican Rivers to reach Denver on May 
7. 62 Before the second westbound trip could be completed, 
Hockaday at Leavenworth on May 11, agreed to sell to 
Jones and Russell his Salt Lake Mail contract, to be turned 
over four days later, May 15, 1859. It was the contract itself 
that brought Hockaday a "bonus" of $50,000, apparently 
in immediate cash. In addition, he was to receive a sum, 
still indefinite but to be fixed by appraisers, for "all mules, 
coaches, wagons and harness used for transporting for the 
mail line, and all other things connected with the carrying 
of said mail, including the cost of all improvements at the 
stations en route, houses, corrals, farming utensils, land 
broken, etc." This sum was to be paid partly in cash (in- 
cluding the regular government payments on the contract 
until July 1, 1859) and partly in promissory notes due at 
intervals over the next year. 63 

That summer the appraisal fixed the indefinite sum at 
$94,000 making the total sale price $144, 000. 64 This was in- 
deed a forced sale at a loss, as Hockaday moaned. His claim 
of $394,000 for expenses had included $117,000 for livestock 
alone. This is reasonable, for 36 mail stations would need 
about sixteen mules each in order to provide relays for two 
four-mule wagons in each mail run in each direction; these 
576 mules, each costing about $200 would require a total 
outlay of $115,200. Jones and Russell got them and a great 
deal of equipment and supplies for only $94,000. Further- 
more they were already distributed along the line, saving 
an enormous expense and delay. There can be no doubt 
that Jones and Russell got a real bargain. As to the con- 
tract, they paid $50,000 for seventeen month's payments 
totaling $175,000. 

On May 15, Hockaday assigned his mail contract to 
himself and Luther S. Smoot, a Leavenworth banker and 
partner of Russell, to be held in trust for Jones and Russell. 
But the Post Office Department promptly made it clear that 
the Salt Lake mail must continue to use the original Platte 
route, thus forcing Jones and Russell to abandon their new 
trail and adopt Hockaday's route, from which they had 
to send a branch line up the South Platte to Denver. 

Thus it was that on May 31, Beverly D. Williams, route 
agent (or division superintendent) for Jones and Russell, 
sped out from Leavenworth with orders to send all stock 
from as far out as Station No. 22 (well inside present Col- 
orado) back to Leavenworth for use on the Platte route; 
to send the coach outfits on to Denver and to prepare three 
new stations along the South Platte branch to Denver. 65 
On this mission, Williams overtook the stagecoach that car- 
ried famed newsmen, Horace Greeley and Albert D. 
Richardson into Denver on June 6. The Rocky Mountain News 
of June 11 reported: 

Mr. Williams informs us that he made an entire change in the loca- 
tion of the mail route [to Denver]. The Company, having purchased 
the stock and route of the Salt Lake Mail, will now move their whole 
force to the Platte Route by way of Fort Kearny to the South Platte 
Crossing, from whence one line will continue up the North Platte 
to Fort Laramie and South Pass, the other diverging to follow the 
•South Platte to Denver. Mr. Williams gave the necessary orders for 
the removal of all the stations over to the Platte as he came out, and 
on Thursday, June 9, the first coach left [Denver] by that route under 
the personal direction [i.e., orders] of Mr. Williams. 

One more Jones and Russell coach left Denver on June 11 
to return by the Solomon-Republican route, bearing not 
only B.D. Williams, but the "Greeley Report" on the 
richness of the newly-discovered Gregory and Jackson Dig- 
gings, the first paying gold strikes in Colorado. 

From May 15 to July 1, 1859, Hockaday and Smoot held 
the Salt Lake Mail contract in trust, during which interval 
Hockaday & Co. apparently retained management of the 
Salt Lake line and Jones and Russell that of the Denver 
line, with no unified supervision. As evidence, contem- 
porary newspapers mention no change in management of 
the Salt Lake line until after the service was reduced to 

semi-monthly on July 1. Also, the Jones and Russell 
coaches that left Denver in June to return via the Platte 
route met with difficulties in coordinating with the Salt 
Lake coaches, which had not been forewarned of any take- 
over. 66 Furthermore, Horace Greeley, who had ridden to 
Denver on the "Pike's Peak Express," resumed his west- 
ward journey from Fort Laramie on June 30, aboard the 
"Salt Lake Mail" that had left Atchison on Saturday, June 
18. He gave no hint that it had been taken over by the 
Pike's Peak Express Co. 67 Finally, the first Jones and 
Russell coach to Denver over the Platte route did not leave 
Leavenworth until Saturday, July 2. 68 

There are some significant features of Greeley's trip 
which left Fort Laramie at 8 p.m. of June 30, and rolled 
into Salt Lake City at nightfall, July 10. Although he spent 
most nights at various stage stations, he did camp out on 
two occasions. In contrast to the information in Allen's 
Guide, Greeley mentions no station at Split Rock, which 
is suspiciously close to Devil's Gate and thus may have 
been abandoned in favor of one at Three Crossings of the 
Sweetwater, which Greeley does mention. Also, Greeley 
locates the Big Sandy Station, not on Green River at the 
mouth of the Big Sandy, but at the lower crossing of the 
latter twelve miles east of the Green; it is possible that 
Allen's Guide had mislocated this station. Finally, Greeley 
mentions a new station thirteen miles from Salt Lake City, 
in the narrow valley (called Mountain Dell) between Big 
and Little Mountains. 

The earliest notice that Jones and Russell had taken 
over the Salt Lake line appeared in a news dispatch of July 
22 from Salt Lake City, received at Weston, Missouri: 

The entire mail line from St. Joseph to Salt Lake City has passed 
into the hands of Jones, Russell, Smoot and Ficklin, by whom it is 
hereafter to be carried semi-monthly. The arrangement does not give 
satisfaction at Camp Floyd and Salt Lake City . . , 69 

It has generally been assumed that Ben Ficklin was a 
charter member of Jones and Russell because he later ap- 
pears as a share-holder. The above is the earliest contem- 
porary notice of his direct association with this firm. 

The Jones and Russell takeover entailed some adjust- 
ments in line divisions. They reduced the four divisions 
on the Hockaday line to three, and added a fourth as the 
new branch line to Denver. They retained three of Hocka- 
day's division agents, who later that fall made affidavits 
to support Hockaday's claim to Congress for relief. Charles 
W. Wiley was agent for an adjusted division extending 
from St. Joseph (and presumably Atchison and Leaven- 
worth) to the lower crossing of the South Platte; he swore 
that after July 1, 1859, seven new stations were required 
on his division. Joseph Alfred Slade took over the adjusted 
division from the crossing to South Pass; he swore that 
three more stations were required on his division after July 
1. James E. Bromley, who bossed the unchanged division 
from South Pass to Salt Lake City, claimed that no new- 
stations were required. 70 


Table. 2 Hockaday vs Jones & Russell Stage Stations 

HOCKADAY, spring 1859 
No. Stations Miles 

1. Leavenworth 

2. Mormon Grove 16 

3. Kinney Kirk 29 

4. Lockman's 21 

5. Seneca 20 

6. Vermillion Cr 24 

7. Big Blue 21 

8. Cottonwood Cr 12 

9. Rock Cr 20 

10. Big Sandy 19 

11. Oak Grove 38 

12. Junction 19 

13. Thirty-Two Mile Cr 19 

14. (Hopeville) 25 

15. (Kearny City) H 

16. Plum Cr 31 

17. - - (Coldwater?) 26 

18. Cottonwood Springs 23 

19. O'Fallon's Bluffs 39 

20. Lower Crossing 40 




















For the added branch line division to Denver, B. D. 
Williams had ordered three stations built, but before long 
there were more than this, as will be shown. The first agent 
for this division was identified by William N. Byers, editor 
of the Rocky Mountain News, who returned from a quick 
trip east on August 5, and wrote a tribute to the Leaven- 
worth and Pike's Peak Express Company in his issue of 
August 13, 1859: 

... On our recent journey from the States we found their stations 
along the South Platte [the new branch division] fitted up in the best 
style possible. Several new stations have also been made below the 
crossing [on Wiley's eastern division] in addition to the old Salt Lake 
Mail Co. stations . . . 

To Capt. [Corydon P.] Hall, the very efficient superintendent 
[i.e. agent] of the western division of the [South] Platte route, we 
desire to return our heartfelt thanks for the many courtesies shown 
on our recent journey over his division . . 

In line with the traditional story that Hockaday's Salt 
Lake Mail was a "two-bit" line, even Root and Hickman's 
nearly exhaustive account of the Leavenworth and Pike's 
Peak Express Company leaves the distinct impression that 
this firm built the Platte route from scratch. Yet we have 
seen that Bromley claimed no new stations for his western 
division, while Slade claimed only three for his longest 
division without indicating how many had been dropped. 
As to Wiley's eastern division, and Hall's new branch divi- 
sion, there is excellent evidence of how few alterations 
Jones and Russell had to make. Table 2 presents the Hocka- 
day stations on Wiley's division, as listed in Allen's Guide 
(mileages this time from Leavenworth) for comparison with 

JONES & RUSSELL, August, 1859-February, 1860 
No. Stations Miles 

1. Leavenworth q q 

2. Armour's 26 26 

3. Kinnekuk 19 ^ 

4. Lockman's 20 65 

5 - Seneca 18 g3 

6. Guittard's 27 no 

7. Cottonwood 24 134 

8 - Rock Cr 20 154 

9. Big Sandy 2 174 

10. Kiowa 24 19s 

11. Liberty Farm 24 222 

12. Thirty-two Mile Cr 20 244 

13. Fort Kearny 30 274 

14. 17-Mile Station 20 294 

15. Plum Cr 16 31Q 

16. Coldwater 23 333 

17. Cottonwood Springs 34 367 

18. O'Fallon's Bluffs 35 402 

19. Lower Crossing 33 440 

20. Upper Crossing (Julesburg) 27 467 

21. Lillian Springs 30 497 

22. Beaver Cr 50 547 

23. Fremont's Orchard 31 573 

24. St. Vrain's Fort 44 622 

25. Denver City 43 6 65 

The Hockaday data are from Allen's Guide; the Jones and Russell data are from identical tables 
in the Rocky Mountain News (August 27, 1859) and the Leavenworth Times (February 14, 1860). 

the Jones and Russell stations as listed identically in the 
Rocky Mountain News of August 27, 1859, and the Leaven- 
worth Times of February 14, 1860, (mileages also from 

A glance at this table reveals that on Wiley's eastern 
division, Jones and Russell had one less station than Hocka- 
day, though they did change several of them. On Hall's 
new branch line, Jones and Russell were compelled to build 
six stations. In the course of time the Russell firm would 
indeed erect many more stations (especially for their pony 
express) and would steadily improve their quality. But the 
fact remains, that for nearly a year they operated largely 
with the stations and equipment they had bought from 
Hockaday and Company by forced sale. 

By July, 1859, Hockaday had not only lost his promis- 
ing mail and stage line business, but had seen his own 
credit and that of his financial backers completely 
destroyed. His only recourse was to memorialize Congress 
for relief. He began assembling affidavits from friends, 
employees and postmasters along his route to support a 
memorial he addressed to Congress from Washington on 
March 14, 1860. He then left on a quick trip west, a 
discouraged and demoralized man. Capt. Albert Tracy, 
10th U.S. Infantry, traveling from Utah to the States by 
Russell, Majors and Waddell's reorganized stage line then 
known as the Central Overland California and Pike's Peak 
Express Company, arrived at Gilbert's Station at South 
Pass on April 13, 1860. There he overtook Hockaday and 

William H. Russell 

William Bradford Waddell 

Z ff"^i: ei 

Alexander Majors 

Russell, Majors and 

Waddell . . . Although tradition 

painted them in glamorous colors, 

they were to share the same fate 

as Hockaday. 


"Doc Erwin" (presumably Joseph C. Irwin, who would 
succeed Russell, Majors and Waddell as the largest of 
military freighting contractors). The energetic and enter- 
prising young stage man had now become a pathetic 
alcoholic, soon to disappear from public view. 71 

The memorial for the relief of Hockaday and Liggitt was 
referred to the Senate Committee on Post Office and Post 
Roads. Its majority and minority reports were ordered 
printed for the guidance of Congress on June 6, 1860. The 
majority report pointed out that the policy of subsidizing 
mail contracts had been in force with the approval of Con- 
gress when the Hockaday contract was let; that the con- 
tract specified full pay if half service was ordered and that 
the contractors were entitled to redress for actual losses, 
recommended at $40,000. The minority report tried to sad- 
dle Hockaday with responsibility for the profligate sub- 
sidizing policy, refused to mention the contract clause that 
called for full pay for half service, and recommended no 

The minority report failed to fool Congress, which 
voted the relief bill, but President Buchanan persisted in 
his stubborn partisanship by vetoing it. The next year Con- 
gress again passed the relief bill and the President per- 
mitted it to become law without his signature. 72 When 
Hockaday received his $40,000, his creditors filed suits 
against him. 73 

The Hockaday saga is thus a sad one. In its day, the 
enterprise fell victim to government injustice, and since 
then tradition has branded it an inept failure. The historical 
evidence, however, reveals that in a brief period and 
against overwhelming odds, Hockaday had built so well 
that another firm could operate his line successfully for a 
year with little additional outlay. Though the government 
again saw fit to destroy Russell, Majors and Waddell, tradi- 
tion has painted them in glamorous colors. 

38. W. Turrentine Jackson, Wagon Roads West (New Haven: Yale Univer- 
sity Press, 1950), p. 209. 

39. This account is based on: Salt Lake dispatch of December 18, New 
York Times, January 26, 1859 (includes letters from W. J. Brooks, J. 
M. Guthrie and Charles H. Miller); Guthrie interview in New York 
Tribune, January 17, 1859; December 4 entry in "Weather Record kept 
by Charles Miller," in Honey Lake Wagon Road Expedition, M95, 
R7, NARS. 

40. New York Tribune, November 19, 1858. 

41. San Francisco Alta California, December 27, 1858 (Supplement). 

42. New York Tribune, December 8, 1858. 

43. Alta California, January 4, 1859 (Dec. 8 event); New York Tribune, 
January 29, 1859. 

44. New York Times, January 31, 1859. 

45. New York Tribune, January 27, 1859 (Chorpenning arrival); Ibid., 
January 21, 1859 (Butterfield arrival). 

46. Atchison Champion, February 19, 1859. 

47. Nebraska Historical Society Publication 20(1922):323; St. Joe Herald, 
February 1, in New York Tribune, February 7, 1859. 

48. Independence dispatch, Neiv York Tribune, November 5, 1858. 

49. Ibid., March 5, 1859. 

50. "Hockaday, Liggitt Claim," SCR No. 259, 36C IS (Ser. No. 1040), 
Minority Report, p. 26. 

51. Hafen, Overland Mail, p. 135. 

52. New York Tribune, March 24, 1859. 

53. Ibid., March 28, 1859. 



H. Parker Johnson, "Coraville, Denver's First Post Office," Colorado 

Magazine 24 (1947): 40. 

Hafen, Overland Mail, p. 135. 

"Hockaday, Liggitt Claim," Majority Report, pp. 2-4. 

Ibid., Minority Report, pp. 28-29. 

"Chorpenning Claim," pp. 8-9. 

59. "Hockaday, Liggitt Claim," Minority Report, p. 23. 

60. Ibid., Majority Report, p. 5. 

61. Ibid., Minority Report, p. 17. 

62. Rocky Mountain News, [Denver] May 14, 1859. 

63. "Hockaday, Liggitt Claim," Minority Report, pp. 21-22. 

64. Ibid., Majority Report, p. 12. 

65. Leavenworth Herald, June 25, 1859. 

66. George A. Root and Russell K. Hickman, "Pike's Peak Express Com- 
panies, Pt. III. The Platte Route," Kansas Historical Quarterly 

67. Horace Greeley, An Overland Journey, 1859, ed. Charles T. Duncan 
(New York:Alfred A. Knopf, 1959), chapters 17-19. 

68. Leavenworth Times, July 22, 1859. 

69. New York Tribune, August 27, 1859. 

70. "Hockaday, Liggitt Claim," Minority Report, pp. 34-35. 

71. "Journal of Albert Tracy," Utah Historical Quarterly 13(1945) :104ff. 

72. Moody, Stagecoach West, p. 136. 

73. Forbes Parkhill, The Law Goes West (Denver: Sage Books, 1956), pp. 


A Bibliography of Writings Concerning 

the Big Horn Medicine Wheel, 

Big Horn National Forest 

by Carol D. Hunter 

Author's Introduction: 

My interest in the Big Horn Medicine Wheel began 
in 1976, when I returned to college to finish my degree 
and wanted to combine an enjoyable summer for my chil- 
dren while doing some research in Wyoming anthro- 
pology. I had lived in Lovell, Wyoming, a few years 
before, had seen the Big Horn Medicine Wheel, and asked 
questions of the natives, but little seemed to be known. 
My first impression of the "wheel" was that it was just 
a pile of rocks and I couldn't understand what all the ex- 
citement was about. 

Now, some nine years later, the medicine wheels of 
the northern plains have greatly enriched my life. First 
of all, they always seem to be located in some of the most 
beautiful places in Wyoming and Montana and some of 
the most interesting people from all over the world en- 
joy visiting them. I have climbed Medicine Mountain with 
a woman astronomer from China, sat at a campfire with 
Royal Air Force pilots from Canada while waiting for the 
summer solstice sunrise, watched my children dance at 
a Crow pow wow, and shared my experiences and 
knowledge with other interested persons from all over 
Montana and Wyoming. This bibliography and these pic- 
tures are for them. 

George Frison of the University of Wyoming's Ar- 
chaeological Department has a wonderful quote with 
which I wholeheartedly agree. He says, "given the highly 
conjectural nature of many past studies of the Wheel (the 
Big Horn Medicine Wheel) and the sensational coverage 
given these theories, we face the real possibility that the 
Medicine Wheel is now of more lasting importance to the 
white man, than it ever was to the Indian." 

The meaning of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel and 
the other medicine wheels of the northern plains have 
been a target of much sensationalism. Many individuals 
have done studies and many others advance theories in 
which common sense is not always involved. I think it 
is important to say that we may never know the true pur- 
pose and meaning of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel. 

The first white man to see the Big Horn Medicine 
Wheel was in the 1880s and probably a miner from Bald 
Mountain City, which is only a few miles from the 
"wheel." The Big Horn Medicine Wheel sits at an eleva- 
tion of 9,642 feet on Medicine Mountain on the west side 
of the Big Horn Mountains. In 1895, an article appeared 
in Field and Stream describing the wheel as having a strik- 
ing resemblance to the "Calendar Stone of Old Mexico" 
and referred to it as a medicine wheel. To my knowledge 
this is the first reference using this term for the Big Horn 
Medicine Wheel. In 1902, S. C. Simms of the Field 
Columbia Museum visited the Big Horn Medicine Wheel 
and published his report in the American Anthropologist. In 
1913, W. A. Allen published his little book, The Sheep 
Eaters, in which he tells of an interview with an Indian 
woman whom he believed to be the last of the Sheep- 
eaters. In 1915, H. H. Thompson of Lovell, Wyoming, 
took pictures of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel and tried 
to find out more about it from Indians of the area, but 
had little success. The Big Horn Medicine Wheel was 
surveyed and mapped by A. G. Stockwell in 1917. George 
Bird Grinnell wrote a report for the American Anthropologist 
in 1922 about his belief that the Big Horn Medicine Wheel 
was a representation of a Plains Indian ceremonial lodge. 

In 1958, the Wyoming Archaeological Society under 
the direction of Don Grey, conducted an excavation of 
the site and from their findings, concluded that the Big 
Horn Medicine Wheel was built in stages, the oldest being 
the center cairn. It may have been constructed as early 
as 1500 A.D. The spokes and outer circle may have been 
added a few years later. The outer cairns, according to 
Grey's tree ring analysis of wood found in one of the 
outer cairns, could have been constructed around 1760 
A.D. Very few artifacts have been found over the years 
at the site. 

Jay Ellis Ransom began writing in 1971 of his theory 
that the Big Horn Medicine Wheel could be dated using 
linguistics. He believes his theory dates the wheel as 
being built 2,000 years ago. 

In 1973, Dr. Frison of the University of Wyoming 
studied the site and found no new information. 

One of the most famous theories pertaining to the 
Medicine Wheel was published in 1974 by Dr. John Eddy 
of the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado. 
He purports the "wheel" was used by ancient people to 
mark the summer solstice's sunrise and certain stars of 
the midsummer dawn, and that it was last used for this 
purpose 200-700 years ago. 

One of the most interesting theories was proposed 
in 1980 by Allan Fries. He feels that old reports and pic- 
tures show that at one time there was another cairn at 
the site. 

Until recently, the wheel and its purpose has been 
a mystery to the Indians of the area. But in 1952, Phillip 

Heaton, Forest Supervisor of the Big Horn National 
Forest, interviewed Robert Yellowtail, Chairman of the 
Crow tribe. In that interview, Yellowtail said that he 
understood the Big Horn Medicine Wheel was the re- 
mains of a Sun Dance lodge. Henry Old Coyote of the 
Crow tribe told the Forest Office in Dayton, Wyoming 
that they were going to have a Sun Dance in the sum- 
mer of 1954 at the Big Horn Medicine Wheel. In 1977, the 
Forest Service took pictures of the wheel after a ceremony 
lead by George "Bear Coat" Aniotte, a Sioux, had taken 

So, the Big Horn Medicine Wheel lives today for both 
the white man and the Indian. Other medicine wheels 
and related stone structures such as stone arrows are less 
well known. A very old medicine wheel is on the Sun River 
in northern Montana, and the Fort Smith Medicine Wheel 
on the Big Horn River in southern Montana seems to be 
mentioned in connection with the Big Horn Medicine 
Wheel in Indian legends. Stone arrows which may point 
to the Medicine Wheel are located in Meeteetse, as well 
as other parts of Wyoming. Many of the other medicine 
wheels exist now only in old reports and old men's 
memories. Still others have been built by bored sheep 
herders and enthusiastic tourists. 

The Big Horn Medicine Wheel as well as the other 
medicine wheels of the northern plains are now an im- 
portant part of Montana's and Wyoming's past. May we 
continue to preserve and yet enjoy them for many genera- 
tions to come. 

Albuquerque Journal 

1974 "Old Stone Wheel Structure Believed To Be 
Calendar" June 12, 1974 
John Eddy's theory. 

Allen, W. A. 

1913 The Sheep Eaters, Shakespeare Press 

The author believes that the Big Horn Medicine 
Wheel was built by Sheep Eaters 

Archaeology in Montana 

1970 "The Late Prehistoric Period" Vol. 11, No. 4 
Oct/Dec. 1970 

Baltimore Sun 

1974 "gig Horn Medicine Wheel— American Stone- 
henge" June 18, 1974 


Bartlett, IS. 

1918 History of Wyoming, Vol. 1, S. J. Clarke Pub- 
lishing Co. p. 41 
"The Medicine Wheel" 

This short article refers to two medicine wheels 
in the Big Horn Mountains 

Billings Gazette 

1960 "Weekender's Trip to Wyoming Mixes History, 
Scenic Beauty" 
August 7, 1960 
A short description of the Medicine Wheel 

1974 "Medicine Wheel Marked Sunrise" June 11, 
Eddy's theory 

1 , f"~ 

The Arrow points 
to the location of the 
Big Horn Medicine 
Wheel . . . 

, ,."*-* , * 

Big Horn Basin Times 

1982 "Intrigue of the Wheel: Lovell Man Ponders 
Its Origins." January 6, 1982 
Article about Ralph Kvia 

Boulder Camera 

1974 "Medicine Wheel Mystery Solved" June 16, 
Eddy's theory 

Bradley, Lieut. James 

1896 (His Journal) Contributions to the Historical So- 
ciety of Montana, Vol. II, Helena, Montana 

Brown, Lionel A. P. 

1963 "The Fort Smith Medicine Wheel, Montana" 
Plains Anthropologist 8 (22) 1963, pp. 225-230 
Description of the Fort Smith Medicine Wheel 

1971 "A Matter of Opinion, The Big Horn Medicine 
Wheel: Tn Reply' " 
American West 
Disputes Ransom's theory 

Buffalo Bulletin 

1952 "Ancient Medicine Wheel is Unsolved Mys- 
tery" August 14, 1952 
General background of wheel with mention of 
Horseshoes, Crow legend 

Casper Star-Tribune 

1973 "Seek New Clues to Medicine Wheel" 
January 22, 1973 

Casper Tribune Herald 

1941 "Medicine Wheel Rated as State's Biggest 
Puzzle" March 16, 1941 
T. Culta of Sheridan, has a theory that the medi- 
cine wheel is based on seven symbols 

Chicago Tribune 

1974 "A New World 'Stonehenge' " July 9, 1974 

Christensen, T. N. 

1963 "Shoshone Trail," The Trowel and Screen, Vol. 
IV, #10 
Billings Archaeological Society, October 9, 1963 

Christian Science Monitor 

1974 "Research Notebook: Monuments to 'lost' 
knowledge" July 9, 1974 
Eddy's theory 

Clark, Ella Elizabeth 

1966 Indian Legends from the Northern Rockies, Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma 

Colombia Record 

1974 "Astronomer: Stone Wheel Was Indian Ob- 
servatory" June 12, 1974 

Colorado Sun 

1974 "Medicine Wheel said solar device" June 10, 

Conner, S. W. 

1971 "A Medicine Wheel in Yellowstone County, 
Montana," December 25, 1971 
A medicine wheel on the rims above Billings, 

Cultra, Thomas Wilson 

1932 "Primeval Symbolic Ruins Show Lunar and 
Stellar Symbolic Records of an Ancient 
Race" February 1932 
Dates the Medicine Wheel as being 12,939 years 

Seven symbols for seven days 


Dane, Christopher 

1973 "The American Indian and the Occult, "Pop- 
ular Library Edition, "A Wheel Older Than 
Memory" 17-21 pp. 

Davis, Leslie 

1965 "Preliminary Report on North-Central Montana 
Archaeology in Montana, Vol. 6, No. 2, April 

Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the 
Montana Archaeological Society, Havre, 
Montana 1964 

Dempsey, Hugh A. 

1956 "Stone 'Medicine Wheels' Memorials to Black- 
foot War Chiefs" 
Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 

Vol. 46, No. 6 
Medicine Wheels on the Blood Reservation 

Denver Post 

1974 "Boulder Astronomer: Stone- Wheel Use Pon- 

dered" June 10, 1974 
Eddy's theory 

1975 "Modern Magic of Medicine Mountain" Oc- 

tober 12, 1975 
FFA Radar Site 

Eddy, John A. 

1974 "Astronomical Alignment of the Big Horn 

Medicine Wheel" 
Science, Vol. 184, pp. 1035-1043 June 7, 1974 

1975 "Medicine Wheels and Plains Indian Astron- 

omy" Paper presented at Seminar on Na- 
tive American Astronomy— Colgate Uni- 
New York, September 1975 

1976 "Archaeoastronomy of North America: Cliffs, 

Mounds and Medicine Wheels" In Search 
of Ancient Astronomies Unpublished manu- 

1977 "Probing the Mysteries of the Medicine 

Wheel," National Geographic Vol. 151, No. 
1; January 1977 pp. 140-146 

1977 Letter to Carol Hunter May 23, 1977 

Reference to medicine wheels at Glendo, Wyo- 
ming and Garrison, North Dakota 

£. M. Atlas 
no date all other information unknown (Found in 
United States Forest Service file) 
Good description of Big Horn Medicine Wheel 
and historical background 


Fries, Allan 

1977 Letter to Medicine Wheel District, Big Horn 
National Forest 
Is there another cairn? 

no date "A Forgotten Cairn at the Big Horn Medi- 
cine Wheel" 

No other information 

Lists quotes from other sources which made 
the author theorize that there was once 
another cairn. 

1980 "Vision Quests at the Big Horn Medicine Wheel 
and its Date of Construction" Archaeoastron- 
omy, Vol. Ill, October, November, Decem- 
ber 1980. 

Frison, George and M. Wilson 
no date "Introduction to the Big Horn Basin Archae- 
No other information known 
They feel that the Big Horn Medicine Wheel 
may be of more lasting importance to the 
White Man than it ever was to the Indian. 

Frison, Paul 

1977 Letter to Carol Hunter January 19, 1977 

Description of the Medicine Wheel as he re- 
membered seeing it in July 1908. 

Francke, Frank 

1895 "A Double in Mountain Sheep" Forest and 
Stream, Vol. XIV, No. 13 
September 28, 1895 p. 269 
Hunters on a sheep hunt come across the Big 
Horn Medicine Wheel 

Grey, Don 

1963 "Big Horn Medicine Wheel, 48BH302," Plains 
Anthropologist Vol. 8, No. 19 

Grinnell, George Bird 

1922 "The Medicine Wheel" American Anthropol- 
ogist, Vol. 24, No. 3 

Grossenbacker, Robert 

1968 Letter to Medicine Wheel Ranger— Big Horn 
Forest, March 1, 1968 
Questions on astronomical significance of the 
Big Horn Medicine Wheel. 

Hoffman, J. Jacob 

1963 The Wonderful West 

Hunter, Carol 

1977 "A Comparison of Medicine Stone Structures 
in Montana and Wyoming" 
A Paper presented to the Montana Archaeologi- 
cal Annual Meeting 
April 17, 1977 Butte, Montana 


The Medicine Wheel from the air, showing spokes and cairns. 

1978 Collection of Material and Photos of the Ft. 
Smith Medicine Wheel 
Ft. Smith, Wyoming (Buffalo Bill Historical 
Center, McCraken Library) 

1978 Collection of Material and Photos of the 
Hazelton Medicine Wheel, Big Horn Moun- 
tains, Wyoming (Buffalo Bill Historical Cen- 
ter, McCraken Library) 

1978 Collection of Material and Photos of the Mea- 
dowlark Medicine Wheel, Big Horn Moun- 
tains, Wyoming (Buffalo Bill Historical 
Center, McCraken Library) 

1978 Collection of Material and Photos of the Sun 
River Medicine Wheel, Lowery, Montana 
(Buffalo Bill Historical Center, McCraken 

1983 Slide Program "Medicine Wheels: Mysteries 
of the Northern Plains" 
Dr. DeWitt Dominick Memorial— Buffalo Bill 
Historical Center-May 1983 

(Program also given at Northwest Community 
College— Big Horn Basin Project— Septem- 
ber 1984) 

1984 "A Comparison of Medicine Wheels of the 

Northern Plains" 
A Paper given at the Big Horn Basin Archae- 
ological Symposium, April 6, 1984 

1985 Collection of Material referring to (possible) 

Medicine Wheels of the Past and Related 
Stone Structures (arrows). 
(Buffalo Bill Historical Center, McCraken Li- 

Jasmann, Alice O. 

1962 "Seven Pictograph Sites in Southern Montana" 
Archaeology in Montana, Vol. 3, No. 3. Jan- 
uary 1962 

Johnson, Jessamine 

1967 Letters to the United States Forest Service 

Mrs. Johnson was born in September 188(->. She 
had a collection of old photographs of the 
Big Horn Medicine Wheel. Little informa- 
tion in this file. 


Journal, Rapid City, S.D. 

1974 "Did Ancient Astronomers Use the Big Horn 
Stone Cairns?" June 16, 1974 

Kansas City Times 

1973 "Stone Medicine Wheel May Be a Calendar" 
June 13, 1973 

Kehoe, Alice 
no date Hunters of the Buried Years: The Prehistory of the 
Prairie Provinces Regina and Toronto: School 
Aids & Text Book Publishing 

Kehoe, Thomas and Alice B. 

1959 "Boulder Effigy Mountains in the Northern 
Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 72, No. 284 
1977 "Stones, Solstices, and Sun Dance Structures," 
Plains Anthropologist Journal of Plains Confer- 
ence, Vol. 22, No. 76, pp. 85-95 May 1977 

Kehoe, Thomas 

1954 "Stone 'Medicine Wheels' in Southern Alberta 
and the Adjacent Portion of Montana," 
Journal of the Washington Academy of Science, 
Vol. 44, No. 5, pp. 133-137 1954 
1974 "Stone 'Medicine Wheel' Monuments in the 
Northern Plains and Their Counter Parts in 
the Midwest" 1974 Plains Conference Paper 

Kennebec Journal, Augusta, Maine 

1974 "Stonehenge for Plains Indians? Maybe" June 
19, 1974 

Kleiber, Hans 

1917? "Medicine Mountain— Bighorn IV" Annals of 
Wyoming, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 192-193 

Krupp, E. C. 

1983 Echoes of the Ancient Skies: the Astronomy of Lost 
John Eddy has a chapter in this book 

Kvia, Ralph 
no date The Medicine Wheel. No other information 

Larson, T.A. 

1965 History of Wyoming, University of Nebraska 

Laubin, Reginald and Gladys 

1957 The Indian Tipi, Its History, Construction and Use 
University of Oklahoma 

Leach, C. Frank 

1971 Poem no title 

Humorous poem on how the medicine wheel 
was built 


Lovell Chamber of Commerce 

1940 The Medicine Wheel-Prehistoric Mystery of the Big 
Four editions: lst-1940, 2nd-1946, 3rd-1954, 

Excellent source of information 

1955 "More to enjoy when you drive through Lovell, 
Wyoming on US 14- A" 

Lovell Chronicle, Lovell, Wyoming 

1958 ' ' Rehabilitation of Medicine Wheel District Ap- 
proved" June 28, 1958 

1958 "It's Your National Forest" October 23, 1958 

1958 "Over 8,000 Visited Medicine Wheel in Past 
Summer" Dec. 11, 1958 

1967 "Medicine Wheel National Site?" August 10, 

1971 "Plan Revamp Medicine Wheel" November 18, 

1971 "Wheel Meaning Unknown, Lovell Man 

Theorizes" 1971 

1973 "Wheel is Mountain Mystery" July 12, 1973 

1975 "The Medicine Wheel: No One knows for 

Sure" July 10, 1975 

1976 "In National Geographic, Medicine Wheel 

Featured" Dec. 30, 1976 

Mansfield, Victor 

1980 "The Big Horn Medicine Wheel as a Site for 
the Vision Quest" 

Archaeoastronomy, Vol. 3, No. 2 p. 26. 

Mails, Thomas 

1972 The Mystic Warriors of the Plains, Garden City, 


McCoy, Robert 

1958 "Mystery of the Medicine Wheel" Science 
Digest, October, 1958 pp. 53-57 

McKelney, V.E. 
no date "Draft Environmental Statement proposed 20- 
year Plan of Mining and Reclamation, West- 
moreland Resources Tract III, Crow Indian 
Ceded Area, Montana" 
U.S. Dept. of Interior Geological Survey 
Mentions stone circles 

Montana: State Guide Book 
1939 p. 32 and p. 292 

Mention of possible medicine wheel near Arm- 
stead, Montana 

Mulloy, William 

1961 "Late Prehistoric Stone Circles," The Trowel 

and Screen, Vol. 11 No. 7 July-August 
1961, The Billings Archaeological Society 

National Observer 

1974 "A Solution to a Rocky Puzzle" June 15, 1974 

Newcomb, Thomas 

1967 "Some Facts and Much Conjecture Concerning 
the Sun River Medicine Wheel, Teton 
County, Montana" Archaeology in Montana, 
Vol. 8, No. I, January-March 1967 

News week 

197 A "Stonehenge, U.S.A." June 24, 1974 

New York Times 
no date "Medicine Wheel like a 'Stonehenge' " 

1974 "Cairns in Wyoming Seen as Sun-Observation 

Site," June 10, 1974 
1974 ' 'Plains Indians May Have Been Astronomers' ' 

June 16, 1974 

Northern Wyoming Daily News 

1974 "Medicine Wheel Still Remains A Mystery" 
August 26, 1974 

Office of Indian Affairs 

1923 "Bibliography of Indian Legends" Bulletin 2 

Ransom, Jay Ellis 

1971 Letters to the Medicine Wheel District, United 
States Forest Service 
1971 "The Big Horn Medicine Wheel— an American 
American West, March 1971 

1977 Letters to Carol Hunter 1977-1984 

Theories, observations and opinions concerning 
the Big Horn Medicine Wheel 

1981 "Big Horn Medicine Wheel— What was the 
Purpose of this Ancient Indian Monu- 
ment?" Highlight August-September 1981 

1984 " Archaeolinguistics and Paleoethnography of An- 
cient Rock Structures in Western North Amer- 

Rock-Springs Daily Rocket 

1947 "New Theory Advanced for Medicine Wheel" 
August 16, 1947 
A. L. Kitselman, an archaeologist, believes the 
Big Horn Medicine Wheel represents star 
group or Hindu zodiac 

San Francisco Examiner 

1952 "The Mysterious Medicine Wheel of the Big 
Horn Mountains ..." November 16, 1952 
A Believe It or Not type article 

Scher, Zeke 

1975 "The Modern Magic of Medicine Mountain" 
Empire Magazine October 12, 1975 
About the men and jobs of the FFA Radar Site 
on Medicine Mountain 

Schiller, Ron 

1980 "Decoding the Mysteries of the Ancient Calen- 
dars" Reader's Digest November 1980 
Eddy's theory 

Science News 

1974 "A North American Stonehenge" June 8, 1974 

Sheridan Press 

1947 "Famed 'Medicine Wheel' is believed work of 
Educated Rancher or Miner" August 14, 
A. L. Kitselman believes the wheel was built by 
educated rancher or miner versed in Orien- 
tal lore. 
1958 Letter to Editor by Charles Mazore November 
11, 1958 
Author feels that the Big Horn Medicine Wheel 
was built by Sieur de las Verndreye as a 
monument to King Louis XIV of France 

1967 "Medicine Wheel Termed Eligible as Historic 
Site," August 5, 1967 

1973 "Prehistoric activity indicated: Medicine Wheel 

not alone" January 12, 1973 

1974 "What others say about Medicine Wheel and 

Arrow," November 25, 1974 

Simms, S.C. 

1903 "A Wheel-Shaped Stone Monument in Wyo- 
ming" American Anthropologist Vol. 5, No. 1. 

Sky and Telescope 

1974 "Medicine Wheel Alignments" August 1974 

Spear, Elsa 

1930 "The Medicine Wheel" Trailing the Campfires 

Stallcop, Emmett, and English, Paul 

1969 "A Summary of Known Archeological Sites 
in North Central Montana" Archaeology in 
Montana, Vol. 10, No. 3 July-September 

Stands in Timber, John 

1967 Cheyenne Memories, Yale University Press 1967 

Stockwell, A. G. 

1917 "Map of Medicine Wheel" October 13, l c H7 
Map gives dimensions, bearings and distances 
of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel 

Storm, Hyemeyohsts 

l c )72 Seven Arrows, Harper and Row New York 


Time Life Books 

1975 "An Indian Observatory" Nature/Science An- 

nual 1975 Edition 

Trenholm and Carley 

1964 The Shoshonis, Sentinels of the Rockies, Uni- 
versity of Oklahoma Press 

Tribune, Chicago 

1974 "A New World 'Stonehenge' " July 9, 197 A 

Tucson Star 

1974 "Wyoming Cairns Are Observatory" June 12, 

University of Wyoming 

1976 Caves of Wyoming pp. 66-99 

There are several caves near the Big Horn Medi- 
cine Wheel and these are often mentioned 
in Indian legends. 

United States Department of the Interior— National Park 
1971 Master Plan of the Big Horn Canyon June 1971 

United States Forest Service— Medicine Wheel District 
of the Big Horn Forest 

1974 Medicine Wheel District of the Big Horn Forest 
"Medicine Wheel Conceptual Interpretive 
Excellent source 

Voight, Barry 

1 L >74 "Rock Mechanics: The American Northwest" 
other information unknown 
interesting reference to the Big Horn Medicine 


Welch, Charles 
no date "History of the Big Horn Basin Medicine 

Williams, Roger 

1977 Letter to United States Forest Service File on 
Oglala Sioux Nation using Medicine Wheel 
Wilson, Michael 
no date Sign copy I-IV, other information unknown 
Proposed text for signs at the Medicine Wheel 

Wiltsey, Norman 

1964 Brave Warriors, The Caxton Printers Caldwell, 


Wormington, H.M. and Forbis, Richard 

1965 An Introduction to the Archaeology of Alberta, 

Denver Museum of Natural History August 15, 

Wyoming Travel Commission 

1968 "By Wyoming Byways . . . 'Wheel' Remains 

Mystery" Travel Log Vol. 8 No. 7, July 1968 

Yellowtail, Robert 

1952 "The Origin of the Medicine Wheel in Wyo- 

"The Story of the Medicine Wheel" 
Statement dictated by Yellowtail in Supervisor 

Heaton's Office on September 25, 1952. 

Yellowtail was the Chairman of the Crow 







1st Sgt*, Company H* 
3rd Cavalry 

edited by 

Thomas R- Buecker 


Classics of the frontier Army by the likes of Charles King, 
Elizabeth Custer, and Martha Summerhayes frequently tended 
to romanticize the hard duty found in the west. Often written 
in later years, these accounts often forgot long, endless days on 
the march, lack of food and water, and severe physical and 
climatic conditions. Through the study of journals and diaries 
written by participants at the time the events took place one begins 
to realize the tremendously difficult and trying situation of the 
Army in western service. One such example is the journals left 
by First Sergeant fames S. McClellan of Company H, 3rd 

James S. McClellan is typical of the thousands of immigrants 
who came to this country and enlisted in the United States Army. 
He was born in Kingston, Nezv Brnnsivick in 1851. On June 28, 
1872, he enlisted at Boston, Massachusetts, for a five-year enlist- 
ment. McClellan was soon transferred to the 3rd Cavalry, recently 
arrived at Fort D. A. Russell, Cheyenne, from duty in Arizona, 
and was assigned to Company H, under the command of Cap- 
tain H. W. Wessells, Jr. McClellan soon proved his worth as a 
soldier, and was quickly promoted through the enlisted ranks. 
After less than one year, he was promoted to corporal. On March 
31, 1874, he became a sergeant, and later that year served as 
temporary company first sergeant for nearly four months. In 
1875, he was appointed as acting sergeant major of the Black Hills 
Expedition under Col. R. I. Dodge. On December 16, he was 
permanently promoted to first sergeant, after three and one-half 
years in the service. 

After his promotion to corporal, McClellan decided to keep 
a journal to record " . . . all that I think will be of any use for 
me to remember. " x He kept at least two journals in small, nar- 
row memorandum books. The first journals recorded miscellaneous 
notations on garrison life at Fort Russell and scouts in western 
Nebraska and central Wyoming in 1873-74. Also this journal con- 
tains his diary of the Big Horn, or Sweetwater Expedition dur- 
ing the late summer of 1874. The second journal contains his 
record of the Powder River Expedition of 1876. Included here is 
a candid description of his part in the attack on Dull Knife's 
village on November 25, 1876. 

McClellan wrote down chiefly what he wanted to remember 
at the time. Distances marched, availability of wood, weather con- 
ditions, and daily incidents were recorded, apparently at night 
after camp was made. His concern as a cavalry first sergeant is 
evident in his comments about grass and water for the horses. 
These notes were jotted down as opportunity alloived under 
various conditions, all in pencil. Portions of his writings were 
difficult to transcribe because of the rubbing caused by carrying 
the journals long periods in his pockets. 2 The material presented 
here is exactly as Sergeant McClellan wrote in regard to spelling 
and punctuation. Numerous pages of company rolls, equipment 
and ammunition issues, and other information of an incidental 
nature have not been included. McClellan 's journals today are 
housed in the Rare Books & Manuscripts Division of the New 
York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations. The 
following graphically illustrates the hardship and challenge faced 
by the Army in Wyoming during the 1870s. 


C ?a. <x 

t 1 




miniiiiiiiiiiiiiifi^ H i 7 



JOURNAL 1873-1874 

General Instructions for all Posts of the Guard- 
Post No. x "I am required to take charge of this post & 
all public property in view to salute all Officers passing ac- 
cording to rank: To give the alarm in case of fire or any 
disturbance What-soever. To Report all violations of the 
articles of War, Regulations of the army or Post or garrison 
orders: at night to Challenge all Persons approaching my 
Post & to allow no one to pass without the Countersign 
until they are examined by an Officer or Non Commis- 
sioned Officer of the Guard. 

Cop'l James S. McClellan 

H Troop, 3rd Cavalry 
Websters Practical Letter Writer the new edition bound in 
cloth & lettered in gilt. Price 75C address R. M. DeWitt 
33 Rose Str. N.Y. City 


To the left is the title page of McClellan 's Journal with artwork 
done by the young soldier. 

Diary May 7, 1873 

I was made Corporal on April 7 just as I had served 9 
months and 9 days in the service. I enlisted on June 28th 
in Boston. Now I must try to write in this book all that I 
think will be of any use for me to remember. 

May 13 Was to Cheyenne on Det. [ached] Service in the 
afternoon, after a deserter. 

May 29 Today I was detailed to drill the recruit that came 
to this company two days ago. 

June 3 3rd of June & still we are mounting guard in Over- 
coats. But it is good enough Weather to do without them. 

June 5 1873 Major Dudley 3 went out to D Troop's camp 
yesterday & had boots & saddles sounded & the troop was 
in line saddled up & had one platoon on the charge in 5 

June 17 Just got in of a 10 days hunt. We shot a lot of 
Antelope and Deer. 

Aug 8 Left Russell for the mountains. 

Sept 4 1873 March of H Troop to the Black Hills 4th 1st 
day out 5th 6th Iron Mt 4 8th Dog Canon 9th Laramie 

Sept 15, 1873 Home from Detached service after a 10 day 
trip to Iron Mountain. 

Was on guard once. The Guard Sept 8, 1873 

Corpl. McClellan 

Pvt Foreman 9:30 to 11:30 

" Leman 11:30 to 1:30 

" Wright 1:30 to 3:30 

" Crosby 3:30 to 5:30 

" Philips 7:30 to 9:30 

" McTeague 5:30 to 7:30 

Dec 8 1873 Mounted guard at one o'clock. The man 
Hayter escaped from the guard. The Sergeant was put in 
arrest for Neglect of duty. 

Dec 17 Mounted guard in the morning. 2 prisoners 
named O'Brien & Leslie escaped & the sentinel who's 
name is Kenedy of L Co. 3rd Cav. 

I am the best shot this week, ending on Dec. 23. We shot 
at 300 yards. I made one 3 inch & one 6 inch & one 19 inch 
shots. 28 inches total from the nail on the centre of the 
target. 5 

Jan 6, 1874 Was the best shot today again made three 
shots 8 x 12 x 22 inches at 300 yards range. 

Jan 13 Best shot— single shot made are 4 & one 8 inch 
shots at 300 yards. But missed the third shot. 

(In early February, 1874, several attacks and depredations 
by roving bands of Sioux brought alarm to western Nebraska. 
In response, Major Dudley, then commanding officer of Sidney 
Barracks, sent out detachments from that post to search for the 
raiding parties. Captain Wessell's company was ordered into the 
field to assist with Dudley's operation. McClellan made brief en- 
tries in his journals recording the scout.) 
Feb. 11, 1874 We are to start after the Sioux Indians 

Feb 11, 1874 Left D. A. Russell by the cars [railroad] got 
out at Potter's Station 6 85 miles below in Nebraska. We 
are 61 men strong. 

Feb. 12 left the railroad and made a ranch 35 miles north 
lots of Indian signs all day. 

13 Made a ranch 30 miles north west lorings ranch 

14 Back to the camp of the 12th 

15 made 12 miles to Milcots Ranch 

Feb 16 made a short scout & back again to the same ranch 
at night. Went west 

17 made a long march to Sidney & put up with A Comp. 7 

18 We are at Sidney yet A Troop was ordered out to the 
South Plat this morning. 

19 A Com. got back this evening & reported 1000 Indians 
under command of Pawnee Killer. 8 Eight of us is to go to 
their camp in the morning. 

March 31, 1874 I was made Serg. today & it is not yet a 
year since I was made a Corporal. The Captain gave me 
a great recommendation. 

This unique building at Fort D. A. Russell urns sketched by 
McClellan. It was directly in front of the guard house and was 
called, "The Officers' Guard." 

(Activities of hostile bands of Indians north of Fort Fred Steele 
led post commander Lt. Col. Luther Bradley to request an addi- 
tional cavalry company to that post. In response, Company H 
was hurried west via the railroad from Fort Russell. Because the 
soldiers were new to the country, Bradley hired a civilian guide 
to accompany them. For several weeks Company H scouted 
through the Seminoe Range, and followed Indian trails some 90 
miles beyond the Sweetwater River. After picking up a number 
of panicky miners in the Seminoes, the company returned to Fort 
Steele temporarily to await other duties.) 

Ft. D. A. Russell, Wyo. Saturday July 18 74 
Received orders to pack up & made a start at 5 PM Put 
our horses on board the cars at Camp Carling 9 & we will 
ride in them all night. 

July 19 After a hard ride in cars without slep. Made Fred 
Steele 10 at 12. We saddled up at four & took the road again, 
made sulpher Spring about 11 PM in the night. Watter bad. 

Ju 20 Started at 6 AM Rout N.N.E. found the Red Cloud 
Gulch 11 no watter till 3 PM Made a camp about 3 miles from 
the seminoal Mines 12 time of camping 5 PM. 
July 21 Marched by the Mines & down Dwees Creek, 13 
most of the time through the mountains. Camped on the 
Banks of the North Piatt & the creek at the mouth of the 
Dewees Creek Time of camping 2 PM 

July 22 Started at 5 AM & the Captain taking the first 
Platoon & going down the river. The second Plat to go with 
the wagons. I was in the 2nd Plat. We keept to the left & 
crossed sand Plains 6 miles, then good going. Two men 
from Capt with orders for us to kepe down Sand Creek & 
meet him. found Capt 3 miles from Piatt. Went into camp. 
Capt found Indian trail. Took 40 men & followed up the 
trail. Left 8 men in camp of Co. H 3 wagon drivers & 1 
citizen to guard camp, killed antelope. 

July 23 Camp was moved today to the bank of North Plat 
at the mouth of sand creek. 




( ,. vC iu^b^ ■ I 


The isolation and starkness of early Fort Russell are elo- 
quently expressed in both these illustrations. Officers' Row 
(above) offers few, if any, amenities. The panorama (below) 
shows the absence of comforting vegetation. The hexagonal 
tower is at the right, center. 


July 24 Nothing new. all was smooth in camp no 
troubles from Indians although we keep a good look out. 

July 25 Two hunting parties went out and was unable to 
kill any game Expect Capt. back in a day or two. It goes 
hard for me to live on hard tack & bacon for I am still weak 
from the fever. 

July 26 Sunday Cpt. came into camp 12 M. the company 
almost starved. Only one camp of good water, crossed 
alkali plains the rout the trail took was N.W. had to turn 
back from want of food. We had lots of antelope for them. 
They had a hard time, went on guard 4 men. two posts 
to go on at day light. 

July 27 remained in camp on Sand Creek, turned in our 
extra ammunition, everything goes on as usual. 

July 28 Up 4:30 so as to make an early start on the back 
track. Went up the Dewees Creek passed the mines, got 
to our old camp on Red Cloud Gulch, kill 6 very large rat- 
tle snakes up on entering camp. 

July 29 Early start, crossed the divide to Browns Cannon, 
found a good camp: with plenty grass & water. I forgot 
to say that all the people from the mines are with us. They 
are afraid to stop there any more, our waggons are loaded 
with their stuf . so the mines are stopped running for a time 
rumors of Indian trouble last Sunday 30 miles below F. 
Steele. 14 

July 30 Made an early start. Now we are of for Steele 
again. Made Steele about 3 PM Put up in the empty quar- 
ters of the absent Cavalry Co. of the 2nd Cav. got soft 
Bread big thing goes good after eating hard tack got a let- 
ter from Mary & answered it. 

July 31 Making ourselves as comfortable as possible under 
the circumstances. Was appointed 1st Sergt to day. That 
acting for this time. 

August 1st 74 Was made full first sergeant in Sergt 
Holmes place, wrote to mother Fine weather washed the 
Quarters out. got the Hoes and don it in a short time. 

August 2 The Captain gave orders for 22 men to be ready 
at 5 AM in the morning with four days rations to start after 
Indians who jumped a Hay camp about 30 miles from 
here. 15 

August 2 the party got of at 4 PM & so that leaves us here 
with 26 men. Col. Bradley 16 was around to look at the Qts. 
I asked him to relieve this co. from supplying main guards 
and he said he would. 

Aug 3 Nothing new all runs smoothly in the company, 
and we have not to furnish men for main guard till the 
company comes back. 

Aug 4 nothing new 

Aug 5 Went with 12 men under command of Lt. Baker. 17 
went down the Piatt about 6 miles & back. Found that the 
company was back before us. They found no Indians. They 

were at Pine Grove. 18 

6. 7. 8th Nothing new 

Aug 9 L Co. 5th Cav passed through this post today. Hill 

of that co joins his company by order of Col 


Aug 11 1874 List of Ammunition 

6 boxes Carbine Cal. 45 

5709 Rounds 

1 Box Pistol Cal. 45 

1200 Rounds 

(Continuing raids and attacks by Arapahoe, Cheyenne, and 
Sioux bands in central Wyoming during the late summer of 1874 
led to the formation of the Big Horn Expedition. Organized by 
Department of the Platte Commander General E. O. C. Ord, 
the purpose of the expedition was to serve as a mobile column 
to scout for and attack hostile bands when located. The expedi- 
tion was commanded by Captain Anson Mills, 3rd Cavalry, and 
consisted of two companies of the 2nd Cavalry, three of the 3rd 
Cavalry (including Company H), and one company each from 
the 4th and 13th Infantry. For over a month the troops exten- 
sively searched the Sweetwater and Powder River country north 
of old Fort Caspar. Although Mills described his force as "a com- 
mand a Colonel will be proud of . . . excellently equipped . . . 
in fine spirits," 19 the column accomplished no great results. 
However, many felt the hostiles were intimidated by this show 
of force, and many returned to the agencies. On September 26, 
the expedition disbanded and Company H returned to Fort 
Russell. Sergeant McClellan's journal details the operations of 
his company and the hardships incurred by the expedition.) 

First Scout of the Big Horn Expedition 

Aug 20-74 1st camp 20 

Left Rawlins 9 AM 5 companies of Cavalry 2 of infan- 
try Wagons & Pack mules & about 30 scouts Made 
Browns cannon went into camp. 12 miles 

Aug 21 2nd camp 

Broke camp 5 AM Crossed the divide & made the Red 
Cloud gulch 4 PM Wagons did not get into camp till 9 
PM 20 miles 

Aug 22 3rd camp 

Started 9 AM. The Wagons & "M" Company 3rd Cav went 
to make perminent camp on sand Creek. "H" & "F" Com- 
panies with 10 days rations went nort camp on sand creek 
Below Whisky Gap. good camp with lots of grass & water, 
not much wood— 15 miles 

August 23 4. camp 

Started 5 AM, a little west of north, crossed the sweet water 
& a more beautiful stream I never saw made Bitter Creek 
2 PM 20 miles near the old California Trail— 20 miles. 



Aug 24 5 camp 

Started 5 AM followed the old California road 
east found Indians signs came to red Butt at 1:30 & went 
into camp, had a good bath in the Piatt river was wet 
through & my blankets. 20 miles 

Aug 25 6 camp 

Started at 5 AM Crossed the Piatt went down the river 
Indian signs Made old Ft Casper 21 camped on the left 
bank of the river. 12 miles. Capt Moor 22 took his company 
& went down the river. Scout came into camp at noon with 
a note to Capt Wessells to join him Moor at day light 
Aug 26 7 camp 

We started down the river, met party of F Co. who said 
that Capt Moor was gone on ahead & for us to follow, 
made 25 miles & went into Camp 25 miles 
August 27 8. camp 

Capt Van Vleit 23 came into camp that is 7 camp this morn- 
ing started at 6 AM Went up the river found Indian 
trail 25 Indians passed along our trail of yesterday. Trail 
12 hours old. Went into camp to wait for a party who is 
to come south in the night Pickets put out on the hills, 
distance traveled 12 miles 

Aug 28 9 camp 

did not start until 1 O' Clock PM Went up the Plat 

Passed old Ft Casper Camped at red Buttes 25 miles 

Aug 29/74 10 camp 

started at 6 AM left the river & went west along the 

California trail camped at Bitter Creek 1 mile above camp 

no. 4 good grass & water 

Aug 30-31- Camp 11 

got into Perminent camp on sweet Watter. started out in 
the evening of the 31 With 5 companies of cavalry, end 
of first scout 


Fort Fred Steele . 
of hard tack. 

. where McClellan enjoyed "soft Bread, "after days 

Property in charge on trip commencing Aug 1874 

7 Tents & Poles 

1 axe 

1 Spade 

1 Pick axe 

50 Tent Pins 

List of Props in charge of Serg. Loeser 
6 Common Tents 1 Pick axe 
1 Wall Tent 1 spade 

50 Tent Pins 1 Box Cartridges 709 Carbine Cartridges 

1 a xe 518 Pistol do 

Second scout of Big Horn Expedition 

August 31 74 1st camp 

started from camp on sweet Water river at 7 PM & march 

a night march north. Had lots of trouble with the Pack 

mules got into camp on Wickie up creek about 2 AM. The 

expedition consists of 5 companies of cavalry & a lot of 

Scouts under Buffalo Bill 24 20 miles 

Sept 1st 2nd camp 

did not leave camp until 2 PM very cold wind blowing 
crossed rattlesnake range rain at 3 PM rained so hard 
caused us to go into camp on half inch creek. The whole 
command is wet through hardly got into camp upon it 
commensed to snow This is awful no place to sleep. We 
will have to do the best we can Snow bent in my tent 
Sept 2 2 camp 

God but it is cold. Were not able to leave camp no grass 
for the horses, in fact there is nothing but cold & snow 
one horse droped dead the property of 2nd cav. Two men 
deserted belonging to I 3rd cav & took their horses. We 
cannot leave here now for we cannot pack the mules. We 
are in a frightful way. I wish to God I was out of it. 25 

Sept 3 3 camp 

got up after a sleepless night in wet Blankets to find it still 
snowing & cold But it cleared of about 10 AM & the sun 
came out bright— got orders to pack up & try & make a 
start. Was until 1 PM drying our saddle Blankets At last 
got into the saddle our horses are so weak that they tot- 
ter under us. got out of the snow region & found a good 
grass on a creek which I will call Creek of good hope. 

Sept 4 4 camp 6 miles 

Started at 6 AM ground soft & muddy & our horses very 
weak, traveled north can find no water & our horses giv- 
ing out. 12 M no water yet one horse left on the road & 
we are obliged to walk most of the time & to urge on the 
used up horses got into camp at dark found some water 
holes where the rain has lodged it is thick with mud but 
it seems the best water I ever drank. Passed herds of 

Sept 5 5 camp 

started to cross the mountains this afternoon 12 M 
Climbed mountains where men looked like flies on the 
wall. Camped on a small creek The body of a Sioux In- 
dian in poles near camp 26 12 miles 

Sept 6 6 camp 

left camp early this morning & commensed to climb the 
hills again This is the hardist work I ever don But the 
only way Find Indians camped on a small creek running 
east. Passed herds of Elk. 

Sept 7 7 camp 18 miles 

At 8 O'Clock this morning we were in the saddle We are 
still in the mountains. 30 miles to. shot three Bear on the 
spot Splendid grass all along. 

Sept 8 8 camp 

trying to get out of the mountains this morning & had to 
retrace out trail, We had went about six miles When we 
came out on the edge of the Clifs. Went back & camped 
about one mile from Camp no. 7 12 miles. 

Sept 9 9 camp 

Made a long ride this day & got out of the mountains after 
climbing up the cannons, got out on the Powder river went 
into camp under a large Red Butte lots of indian signs 
about 60 lodges passed through this place. 

Sept 10 10 camp 

left camp at 8 AM marched down the river to old Ft. 

Reno 27 30 miles. 

Sept 11 

remained in camp all day. We had to rest to let the horses 

rest. We are loosing so many. This camp necessary. 

Sept 12 11 camp 

Crossed the country making for the Piatt had to go into 

camp at a water hole Bad water & poor grass 18 miles 

Sept 13 12 camp 

very dusty today. Went 21 miles & camped on the same 

chain of water tables alkali water & that dry all up in the 
night & we had to pull out of camp without any. 

Sept 14 13 camp 

No water this morning, no water all along. We are drop- 
ping horses all day. D Co of the 2nd Cav lost 10 horses 
before we struck the Piatt, got into camp on the Piatt 3 
miles below Caspar at 5 PM 38 miles 

Sept 15 13 camp 

remain here today to rest the horses 

Sept 16 14 camp 

Started at 8 AM Went to red Buttes. met the wagons & 
there was a great rush for rations The horses was wild 
for grain. 

Sept 17 15 camp 

Felt good this morning with a prospect of soon getting to 
the sweet water, it is very cold had to wear our great coats 
all day— got to Bitter Creek & went into camp snow all 
night & cold wind 

Sept 18 16 camp 

I asked permission to go ahead of the command & have 
a meal for this company upon their arrival in sweetwater. 
started & got to camp at 11 AM after a hard ride in the 
rain. Command arrived at 1 PM & now for a rest 

Sept 19 20 21 Camp Sweetwater near Independence Rock 
I will make no more notes while at this camp for the 

(illegible) everywhere but I am enjoying a good 

rest & the horses are picking up fast. 

(Throughout the winter and spring of 1874-75, Company 
H remained at Fort Russell. In March the company was sent out 
to apprehend parties trespassing on the Sioux Reservation enroute 
to the Black Hills. In May, a scientific expedition was sent into 
the Black Hills to confirm the reports of gold made by Custer the 
year before. McClellan 's company was one of six cavalry com- 
panies sent along as escorts. On October 15 the expedition 
disbanded and Company H was transferred to Fort McPherson, 

In the spring of 1876 while other 3rd Cavaln/ units were 
ordered into the Great Sioux War, Company H remained at Fort 
McPherson. On June 24, the day before Custer's monumental 
defeat, the company was ordered into camp at the North Platte 
bridge on the Sidney-Deadwood road. For the next three months, 
McClellan' s unit guarded the bridge and patrolled the road north 
to the Red Cloud Agency and Camp Robinson. 

The summer war against the Sioux turned into disaster 
followed by several months of largely unsuccessful pursuit by the 
Army. Hoivever, General George Crook was determined to at- 
tack and punish the hostiles, forcing them to return to the agen- 
cies. In October 1876, the Powder River Expedition was organized 
for a winter campaign. The combative arm of the expedition con- 
sisted of a cavalry battalion of 1 1 companies, an infantry battalion 
also of 1 1 companies, 4 com fames of artillery (utilized as infan- 
try), and a large number of Shoshoni, Arapahoe, Sioux, and 

Cheyenne auxiliaries. To supply this large column required nearly 
200 wagons and 400 mules with about 300 civilian teamsters and 
packers. On November 1, Company H arrived at Fort Laramie 
to become part of the expedition. Several weeks later the cavalry 
battalion, under the command of Col. Ranald S. MacKenzie, 4th 
Cavalry, attacked and destroyed a large Northern Cheyenne 
village in the southern Big Horn Mountains. 

McClellan's second journal describes the march and battle 
at the village in this campaign, called "the most severe on men 
and animals in the annals of Indian warfare." 28 


Nov. 2. 76 Co. H 3rd Cav arrived at Ft Laramie where we 
received orders to join the Powder river expedition re- 
mained here two days and on the 5th commensed the 
march to Fort Fetterman 29 where we arrived without acci- 
dent on Nov 9th The Infantry troops of the command 
came & camped about 2 miles below us on the river. 

Nov 10 & 11 was spent in making preparations for the 

Nov 12. Snow began to fall last night and continued all 
night. Very cold this morning. 

13. Nov. Received orders about 9 PM this evening to pack 
up and start in the morning 

14 Nov. Broke camp at daylight and marched to the 
north The Infantry broke camp at the same time and the 
whole command is now together also the supply train 
camped at Sage Creek 15 miles. 

Nov 15 . " Broke camp at daylight marched to the south 
fork of the Cheyenne river 15 miles. Yesterday while on 
the march the QM clerk Seymour and the asst. wagon mas- 
ter having gon out on the flank were run in by four Indians. 

Nov 16. Broke camp at daylight Marched to a creek 18 
miles from last camp Paymaster in bringing mail at times 
this day we could see the whole command and the train, 
also the Indian scouts. This is the first day we could do 
so. The command strung out over five miles of road. Great 
numbers of the men have the diarrahea. 

Nov. 17. Remained in camp until 9 AM. Sent the wagons 
out about 8 AM. it commenced snowing about daylight 
but stopped before we got into the saddle and as we 
marched along it grew quite fine but cold, as we reached 
the top of the divide the Powder River Valley and the Big 
Horn Mountains then burst on our view in all their splen- 
dor. The mountains all clad in snow. We could see over 
sixty miles to the North West. Punkin Butts 30 on our right. 

This plat shows Fort Laramie as Co. H., 3rd Cavalry would 
have seen it before the Powder River Expedition of 1876. 





UENEttAL PLAN OF POST \> y 'ft W<> 


T.«f *i , 




fi*m t to*at w»«e> 


r«w i«iri mi Hitt 


cirtl t»(U • *'•* 




. 1 -'** 


Camped on a dry fork of the Powder river 20 miles from 
last camp. The packers who had reached camp about an 
hour before the column reported some Indians, who left 
the creek and run to the east or toward the Butts. 31 

Nov. 18" Broke camp at sunrise and marched down the 
Dry Fork to the Powder River, crossed it at the new post 32 
and went into camp on the north side, a number of 
shoshonie Indians joined us today 33 Marched 19 miles. 

Nov. 20" remained in camp. Two men died one of Co. 
H 5 Cav and one of the arty. 34 

Nov. 21. Moved about one mile down the river. 

Nov. 22. Broke camp at daylight and marched to Crazy 
Womans fork 28 miles. Scouts came in and reported a large 
village of Indians to the northward. We received orders 
to start tomorrow with pack mule transportation and leave 
the wagons behind, drew rations at midnight. 

It was very cold while in the saddle today and we had 
to walk a good deal. We could see lots of buffalo away to 
the North East. Col. MacKenzie shot three on arriving in 
this camp. 

Nov . 23 . " We started at 9 am left wagons behind and pack 
mule transportation. We marched up the creek then along 
the east side of the mountains. We camped on a creek 
which empties into Crazy Woman. The ground was very 
wet and uncomfortable for all hands and not much wood 
for to make fires. 

Nov. 24. at daylight we were again in the saddle. Still 
continue to march along the mountains often crossing deep 
muddy creeks, several men were thrown of their horses 
and one of Co F 4th cav was nearly drowned his horse 
fell from the bank. All at once the scouts came in reporting 
a large village of Indians about 15 miles to the south west 
We at once turned in toward the mountains and camped 
on a small creek where we got orders to make no fires and 
take a dry lunch and fix up for a night march on the 

We remained in this camp until 4 pm. Feed our horses 
and moved out keeping up a good rapid walk until dark. 
Then the roughness of the road and darkness prevented 
us from making much headway and as after dark we 
marched mostly through the mountains, across deep wash 
outs. The road seemed twice as long as it was. sometimes 
the head of the column would be checked and have to 
string out in single file. This would cause us to sit in the 
saddle for half an hour at a time. I was so sleepy and tired 
I could not keep awake. 

About two hours before day light we had a halt of 
about an hour, all the command came up. We then moved 
forward as rapid as possible. The Indian warriors came by 
us on the run Nov. 25th in all their war rig and we could 
see there was something up and in a few minutes the three 
companies ahead of us moved forward at the run. We kept 
up with them and as we passed through a deep cannon, 

we could hear our Indians give their war cry and in a few 
minutes more of the village came in sight. It was in a deep 
revine between hugh mountains as we came in the In- 
dians broke and ran for the bluffs. Co. H 3rd was dis- 
mounted and strung along to the right where a lot of in- 
dians had got into a cannon We charged them on foot 
and the bullets flew as thick as hail lots of men fell on 
both sides as we run in on them. They broke and run. one 
of them being about 15 yards from me I shot him through 
the small of the back, he fell on his face. I run up and gave 
him a few pistol shots took his gun, a sharps carbine and 
as I was doing so a Pawnee came up and took the coup. 35 
I could not scalp him as it looked so bad for a white man 
to commence to mutilate the dead in that way. I passed 
on up the revine. We drove the Indians up to the top then 
I returned to the place where the Indian I killed and two 
others were lying. I found a white man scalping them he 
was one of the scouts. 36 The company stood fire like a brick 
and we had some hard fighting We were on the skirmish 
line from daylight until dark 9 hours. 

In the afternoon I went down to where the horses were 
and found that all was right. Wounded in the fight Serg. 
Cunningham in the ankle, Holden, in shoulder ball re- 
maining in it 37 Talmage a flesh wound in the back There 
was 5 men killed and 26 wounded one of the killed was 
an officer Lt. McKinney. 38 

We camped on the battle ground, it snowed in the mor- 
ning and as all saddled up it was falling fast that we could 
not see tops of the bluffs. Before moving out we burnt all 
the plunder lots of dried meat and Buffalo robes and 173 
lodges in all. We captured a lot of ponies I cannot tell just 
how many Indians was killed but I saw 11 on the ground. 39 

Nov. 26" about 11 o'clock the comd moved out taking our 
dead and wounded with us on pack mules. We marched 
down the Powder River about 10 miles & camped. 

Nov 27. We broke camp about 10 am and marched to the 
north. We expected an attack today as the scouts reported 
another large village to the west and as we were the last 
company of the rear guard I felt uneasy for fear they would 
cut us of Lots of horses gave out and were shot along the 
trail, our horses are very week and the snow that has been 
falling the past two mornings makes the road very slip- 
pery. We marched 14 miles and camped on a fork of the 
Powder River. When in camp about two hours a herd of 
buffalo came in to the Indian Scouts camp and they fired 
a volley into them. We of course thought it was another 
attack but soon found out what it was. 

Nov. 28. Marched to the south fork of the Crazy Woman, 
all along the road you could hear the report of fire arms 
as they were shooting played out horses. Yesterday we met 
the Infantry who had come to help us, but they turned back 
and returned to the wagon train. 

We had a hard camp here no wood of much account 
& it was very hard to get enough to cook breakfast. Want 


of grass and rest has made our horses very weak & I fear 
that if we do not get grain soon we will all be on foot. 
Marched 10 miles today. 

Nov. 29. Broke camp at daylight and marched down the 
river to the wagon train and we were in great need of rest 
and the shelter the tents afford us as the past two or three 
days has been very cold and some snow fell each morning 
making it very hard for both men and horses. 

We received our mail here, and it is rumored that we 
are to return to winter quarters. 

Nov. 30th 1876 Remained in camp at about 11 am re- 
ceived an order to have 25 of the best men and horses ready 
to move out at a moments notice as the Scouts had gone 
out and they expect them to return in the evening with 
news that the Cheyenne Indians under White Antelope 
were near at hand and we were to pull out and pursue 
them again. 40 at noon we had a funeral, all the cavalry 
turned out mounted and armed, we buried five of the men 
shot at the Powder river cannon fight. The officer is to be 
taken east. 41 

Dec. 1st 1876 No news today as yet. the party did not go 
after the Cheyennes as the Scouts have not returned yet. 
Was up to the hospital to see the wounded. Found them 
in good spirits Holden is the worst They have not got 
the ball out of his shoulder yet but they say it will not trou- 
ble him. There is some bad cases of men shot through the 

The Infantry who had marched to help us at the fight 
suffered much from the cold and a number of them has 
feet and ears frozen. 

No news I said why Hell! We received orders to be 
ready in the morning for the march to Reno. 

Dec. 2 '76 Broke camp at daylight. Marched to Canton- 
ment at old Ft. Reno 28 miles. It was a slow long march 
and our horses very tired or as the Big Injun would say 
a heap damn tired. 

The ground was very slippery and c (cold) make it very 
hard for smooth shood horses 42 it was dark when we got 
to the Powder river. No one can tell what this movement 
is for. Some think we will go up the Bell Fourch & around 
the Black Hills, some say we will go straight home, in fact 
no one knows where we will go tomorrow, the wagons 
did not get in until late and it was about nine before we 
got supper & as we had breakfast before daylight, every 
man was hungry as could be. 

Dec. 3. "76 Broke camp at 9 am marched up the Dry Fork 
and camped 20 miles, do not know what to make out of 
this movement but tomorrow will decide. 

Dec 4. "76 got orders this morning to send all but fifty 
men of each co. with wounded in to Fetterman. The fifty 
from each company is to make a scout. 43 remained in camp 
all day. 

Dec. 5 1876 packed up but did not get orders to move out. 

Very windy all day and signs of a snow storm. 

Dec. 6. "76 Marched to a dry creek or Gulch where we 
camped. 7 miles Now we find how hard it is to travel in 
this country in winter. 

No wood & very little water & cold All hands find 
it very hard to keep warm, and as it was late when we got 
to camp we had not much chance to make ourselves 

Dec. 7. "1876 Broke camp at daylight and marched 15 
miles to the head of the Bell Fourch. snow all day and very 
cold, got to camp at dark Wagons did not come in until 
long after. 

Dec 8 "76 Marched 18 miles down river got in camp 
late But got lots of wood here and as we camped in a deep 
cannon we were pretty comfortable Men commenced to 
growl about everything as our horses are very week we 
have no easy time. 

Dec. 9. Marched 4 miles down a river to a camp where 
we got lots of wood but poor grass. They gave orders that 
we would remain here two or three days, but about dark 
revoked it and gave orders for a move at 10 tomorrow We 
got 458 lbs of fresh beef. 44 

Dec. 10." As the grass was very poor when we camped 
last night we moved down the river about 5 miles to a good 

Dec 11. "76 We remained in camp today, heard that a 
Pawnee and a white man had been killed up the river yes- 
terday by the Indians, but they were not scalped and as 
the white man did have a lot of gold dust, I think he was 
killed by the miners who are following up the command. 45 

Dec.l2"76 Remained in camp. The Infantry moved down 
the river and went beyond us to a new camp all kinds 
of reports come in. Some say that Crazy Horse is only 40 
miles from here in a strong position and has rifle pits dug 
all around his village, very fine weather the past two days 
and warm. 

Dec. 13 "76 Marched down the river about six miles and 
the Co camped under a tree where nine dead indians had 
been buried the grass along this stream is very poor here 
today that the Exp. would move south as soon as the 
wagons come back from the dry fork with our supplies. 

Dec.l4"76 Remained in camp. Very cold in the morning 
but turned rather warm in the PM. 

Dec 15. "76 Remained in camp quite warm but shows 
signs of a heavy snow storm to the north, drew rations 
for five days, no movement in orders yet and it seems as 
though we would pass some more time here yet. 

Dec. 16" No signs of a move yet. a trader arrived in camp 
yesterday and of course he is like all the rest charges 
wonderful prices for his goods. 46 

Dec.l7"76 Remained in camp 





■5* -fc --.St-- -~ ^ v -a- V 



Dec 18 . " No move yet and it seems as though Crook did 
not know his own mind 47 

Dec. 19 '76 Moved camp about 2 miles down river. 

Dec. 20" Remained in camp, the Infantry moved camp 
below us about a mile, not a soul seems to know how long 
the expedition will last. 

Dec. 21 "76 Remained in camp snow this morning and 
cold wind 

Dec 22 "76 Broke camp at 6 AM and marched up river 
10 miles. I had on a hat and suffered greatly from cold as 
it snowed all day. 

Dec. 23 Marched up river and went in to camp late, made 
only about 15 miles it was extremely cold to-day and a 
strong wind. There was a lot of men frozen and during 
the night 2 mules died from cold. 

Dec. 24 " Marched 8 miles up river and camped on our 
old camp of the 8 "—very little wood and very cold Ther- 
mometer went down to -42 below zero and froze, had to 
melt snow to make coffee, this is the coldest we have had 
yet. in fact I do not know how cold it was as we could not 
tell the mercury having froze. One man in the Co. had his 
feet frozen while on guard during the night and I can see 
lots of men riding in the ambulances with frozen hands 
and feet. 48 

Dec. 25 "76 Marched to the west of Pumkin Butts, very 
cold all day and horses giving out all along the road no 
more grain for them and no grass to amount to anything 
as the snow prevents the horses from grazing. 49 

Dec. 26. ' Broke camp at 10 AM and marched to the 
Cheyenne river Though we suffer much, every one is 
bearing it as well as possible for we know we have now 
good prospects of a good place for the winter. 

Dec. 27. Marched south & camped on the Middle 
Cheyenne. Snow all day but got a good mail which makes 
up for all this. 

Dec. 28. Marched to Sage Creek very cold, got another 

Dec. 29. Marched to Fetterman & camped about 2 miles 
above the post on the creek snow all day & cold. We 
heard that we go to Omaha for the winter. 

Dec. 30 Marched to Wagon Hound Creek. 50 snow all day 
& the wagons find hard work to get along. Was up to see 
the wounded Holden is improving but they could not 
find the ball although they probed 11 inches after it. 
Dec. 31 Marched to Elk Horn. 51 very cold & snowing 

Jan.l 1877 New Years & still on the march, very cold, 
marched to Horse Shoe 52 & camped 

Jan. 2 " Marched to Bull Bend 53 & camped, a fine day after 
all the cold, & we can go around in blouses. 



After the Poivder River Expedition broke up, Company H 
was assigned to Sidney Barracks, Nebraska. After serving as part 
of the Sidney garrison for four months, Sgt. McClellan's com- 
pany was transferred to Camp Robinson on May 23. Here his 
five-year term of enlistment expired, and he was honorably 
discharged on June 28, 1877. On his discharge certificate, Cap- 
tain Wessells marked his character as "most excellent, " and also 
noted on the back that he had participated in the Dull Knife bat- 
tle and killed Bull Head. 

Some 53 years later, MOTOR TRAVEL magazine, published 
by the American Automobile Club, ran an extensive series of ar- 
ticles on the Powder River Campaign of 1876. For nearly two 
years, monthly articles were presented. A few survivors of the 
campaign and Dull Knife battle were contacted to prepare in- 
stallments in the series. McClellan, then living in North Little 
Rock, Arkansas, wrote seven such articles. In order to present 
an accurate record of events, he borrowed his journals from a New 
York collector who had them at the time. 54 McClellan's jour- 
nal of the Powder River campaign appeared in two installments, 
he'avily edited. 

With this spawning interest in the campaign, McClellan sug- 
gested the time was right to produce a motion picture of the at- 
tack on the village. He felt it should be done while there were 
still a few survivors available to "participate in it and for con- 
sultation about the essential details." 55 He thought it would 
be a great success and even offered to be in it. However, nothing 
ever came of it and McClellan died quietly at the North Little 
Rock Veterans Facility Hospital in April, 1936. His journals were 
later purchased at auction in 1941 by the Nezv York Library. Look- 
ing back at his Army years in Wyoming he wrote: "Those were 
great days— take it from any old cavalryman; they have gone, 
never to return, but deserve perpetuation in history. " 56 By that 
time, McClellan also seemed to forget the bad aspects of frontier 
Army life with the passing of the years. 

1. McClellan journal entry, May 7, 1873. 

2. James S. McClellan, "A Day With the Fighting Cheyenne," Motor 
Travel (December 1930), p. 19. 

3. Major Nathan Augustus Monroe Dudley ("North American Dudley") 
was a veteran soldier, who had served with the 3rd Cavalry since 
1871. At different times he was commanding officer of Fort McPher- 
son and Sidney Barracks in Nebraska. 

4. Iron Mountain is located near the head of Chugwater Creek, about 
45 miles northwest of Cheyenne. Company H, along with other units, 
was sent out in early September to scout the area for Indian bands. 
None were sighted. 

5. This was a standard scoring method of target practice at the time. 
Three or four shots were fired by each individual, then the distance 
from the hit to the center of the target was measured. The distance 
in inches was totaled for the score. 

6. Potter, Nebraska, is located on the Union Pacific Railroad 18 miles 
west of Sidney. 

7. Sidney Barracks was established in December 1867, to furnish pro- 
tection along the Union Pacific west of Fort Sedgwick, Colorado. Com- 
pany A, 3rd Cavalry under the command of Captain William Hawley 
had been stationed at Sidney since May, 1872. 

8. This figure is undoubtedly too high. On February 23, a group of 
. Spotted Tail's Brule came into the post heading back to their agency. 

Pawnee Killer's band of Oglalas remained hunting on the South 
Platte until April, when they returned to the Red Cloud Agency. 

9. Because of the importance of Fort Russell as a supply point for the 
area, Camp Carlin was located as a separate supply depot in 
September, 1867, midway between Fort Russell and Cheyenne. Robert 
W. Frazer, Forts of the West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 
1980), pp. 184-185. 

10. Fort Fred Steele was established June 15, 1867, to protect the Union 
Pacific Railroad near its crossing of the North Platte River 15 miles 
east of Rawlins. Frazer, Forts of the West, p. 186. 

11. Red Cloud Gulch is located in the Seminoe Range about 25 miles 
northwest of Fort Steele. 

12. In July 1871, gold was discovered in the Seminoe Range north of Fort 
Steele. Although the finds were relatively minor, the Seminoe Min- 
ing District was attached to the command of Fort Steele for protec- 
tion. Robert A. Murray, "Fort Fred Steele: Desert Outpost on the 
Union Pacific," Annals of Wyoming 44 (Fall, 1972), p. 161. 

13. Deweese Creek is located in the Seminoe Range, flowing into the 
North Platte from the southwest. Both this camp and the later men- 
tioned camp on Sand Creek are probably located under modern-day 
Pathfinder Reservoir. 

14. On the evening of July 26, Indians ran off 70 horses from an emigrant 
train between Carbon and Medicine Bow. Murray, "Fort Fred Steele," 
p. 165. 

15. On August 1, Indians attacked a civilian haying party about 15 miles 
south of Rawlins, killing a man named Johnson. Murray, "Fort Fred 
Steele," p. 165. 

16. Lt. Col. Luther P. Bradley had served with the 9th Infantry since 1869. 
He was serving as post commander at the time. 

17. Lt. Baker. Note: Baker's name and unit could probably be found on 
the post return for Ft. Steele for August, 1874. 

18. This was the point the hay party was attacked south of Rawlins. 

19. Letter from Captain Mills to the Assistant Adjutant General, Depart- 
ment of the Platte, dated August 31, 1874. General Orders, Orders, 
and Special Orders issued by expeditions, 1874-1879, NARS RG 98. 

20. On August 11, Bradley had ordered Wessell's company and Co. D, 
9th Infantry to the Sweetwater River to establish a supply camp for 
the expedition. 

21. This was old Fort Caspar at the North Platte Bridge, scene of the 
historic Platte Bridge Station fight on July 26, 1865. The post was aban- 
doned in October 1867. Frazer, Forfs of the West, pp. 179-180. 

22. Captain Alexander Moore, commanding Company F, 3rd Cavalry. 

23. Captain Frederick Van Vliet, commanding Company C, 3rd Cavalry. 

24. William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody accompanied Mill's expedition. He 
was hired as chief scout at the rate of $150 per month. Letter, Cap- 
tain Mills to A.A.G., Dept. of the Platte, dated August 31, 1874. NARS 
RG 98. 

25. The severe storm of September 2 evidently left a great impression 
on the military mind. It was even mentioned in General Sheridan's 
Division of the Missouri report to the Secretary of War that year. An- 
nual Report of the Secretary of War (Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1875), Pt. 1, pp. 25-26. 

26. McClellan refers to a scaffold burial commonly used by Plains Indians. 

27. Fort Reno was established in August 1865 for protection on the 
Bozeman Trail. The post was abandoned as a result of the Fort Laramie 
Treaty in April of 1868. Frazer, Forfs of the West, pp. 183-184. 

28. J. D. Ward, "Fort Fetterman," Annals of Wyoming 4 (January, 1927), 
p. 362. 

29. Fort Fetterman, used as the main supply base for this campaign, was 
established in July 1867. The post was built for the protection of 
emigrant routes in the area. Frazer, Forts of the West, pp. 180-181. 

30. Pumpkin Buttes, a familiar landmark in the Powder River country, 
is located just east of the Dry Fork of the Powder River in southwest 
Campbell County. 

31. Captain Bourke reported in his diary that the supposed 6-8 Indians 
were discovered to be ". . . whitemen (horse thieves, perhaps)." 
Diary of John Gregory Bourke, Vol. 14, p. 389. Microfilm copy on deposit 
at the Nebraska State Historical Society Archives, Lincoln. 

32. Cantonment Reno was established three miles above the site of old 
Fort Reno on October 14, 1876. Its purpose was to serve as a supply 
point for campaigns in the Powder River country. Robert A. Mur- 
ray, Military Posts of the Powder River Country of Wyoming, 1865-1894, 
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1968), pp. 110-118. 

33. Shoshoni allies left Camp Brown the last week in October. Crook also 
utilized several hundred friendly Cheyenne, Arapahoe, and Sioux 
auxiliaries in this campaign. This was in addition to 100 Pawnee Scouts 
under the command of Major Frank North. 

34. One of the soldiers (a recruit) became drunk and wandered off dur- 
ing the evening of the 19th. He died of exposure shortly after being 
brought back to camp. As a result, a civilian following the column 
to sell whiskey had his stock seized and destroyed. Bourke Dian/, p. 


35. Thinking they might be of use in the conflict, McClellan picked up 
the warrior's carbine and cartridge belt. The belt was later identified 
as belonging to Little Wolf. This led some soldiers to believe that 
McClellan had killed the Cheyenne chief. Several months later at 
Camp Robinson, it was discovered he shot Bull Head, a half-brother 
of Little Wolf. In the sudden confusion of the attack, Bull Head 
evidently grabbed the other's arms before entering the fight. 
McClellan, Motor Travel (March 1930), p. 19. 

36. In later recalling the incident, McClellan commented, "I did not think 
much of a scout who would go behind the firing line to take his scalps 
in comfort and comparative safety." McClellan, Motor Travel 
(February, 1931), p. 21. 

37. Henry Holden was the pitcher of the Company H baseball team. He 
was seriously wounded, and it was a year before surgeons were able 
to remove the bullet. McClellan, Motor Travel (January, 1931), p. 22. 

38. Soldiers killed in the engagement were: 1st Lt. John A. McKinney, 
Co. M, 4th Cav.; Corp. Patrick Ryan, Co. D, 4th Cav.; Pvt. John 
Sullivan, Co. B, 4th Cav.; Pvt. Allen Keller, Co. E, 4th Cav.; Pvt. 
John Menges, Co. H, 5th Cav.; Pvt. Beard, unit unknown. 

39. Mackenzie's report of the fight listed 25 confirmed Cheyenne killed, 
but thought the number might be higher. Other estimates run as high 
as 40 Cheyenne killed. Bourke Diary, p. 465. 

40. White Antelope was a Cheyenne chief the soldiers expected to rally 
the Cheyennes and others of Crazy Horse's band to attack in retalia- 
tion. This never took place. McClellan, Motor Travel, (January, 1931) 
p. 22. 

41. Alexander McFarland, Co. L, 5th Cavalry, died of wounds received 
in the fight as the column returned to the camp on Crazy Woman's 
Creek. McKinney's body was shipped to a brother in Memphis, Ten- 
nessee. Bourke Diary, pp. 439-440. McClellan records that Private 
Beard's body was buried by mistake on the battlefield before the 
soldiers retired. McClellan, Motor Travel (September, 1930), p. 10. 

42. This proved fatal on one occasion. On December 1, Sgt. Patterson 
of Co. I, 4th Cavalry, died of internal injuries received when his horse 
slipped and fell on him. Bourke Diary, p. 441. 

43. Crook had full intentions to continue up the Belle Fourche and Little 
Missouri River valleys in search of Crazy Horse's band. 

44. A small herd of beef cattle accompanied the column. The cattle were 
slaughtered and the meat distributed to the command as needed. 
On the night of December 6, the cattle herd stampeded nearly 20 miles 
to the west before being recovered. Bourke Diary, p. 454. 

45. On December 10, a small party of Cheyenne attacked an unguarded 
camp of 11 miners who were following the column. One miner was 
killed as the others fled, abandoning their camp and equipment. 
Bourke Diary, p. 476. 

46. An authorized trader from Fort Fetterman, who sold canned goods 
to the soldiers at the price of $1.00 per can. McClellan, Motor Travel 
(January, 1931), p. 22. 

47. McClellan later wrote that his journal comments represented ". 
the state of mind of the rank and file at the time, without thought 
that any comments would be printed." McClellan, Motor Travel 
(January, 1931), p. 22. 

Bourke described the camp as "extremely cheerless." Bourke Diary, 
p. 536. 

McClellan recalled he "blew himself to one drink at 75 cents" on 
Christmas Day. McClellan, Motor Travel (January, 1931), p. 22. 

50. Wagonhound Creek is about seven miles south of present-day 
Douglas, on the south side of the North Platte River. 

51. Elkhorn Creek, midway between present-day Orin and Glendo, is 
in northern Platte County. 

52. Horse Shoe Creek is about three miles south of Glendo. 

53. Bull Bend was a point on the North Platte River about 30 miles west 
of Fort Laramie. 

54. Both the journals and belt plate from Little Wolf's cartridge belt were 
then in the western Americana collection of Guthrie Y. Barber of New 
York City. McClellan, Motor Travel (December, 1930), p. 19. 

55. McClellan, Motor Travel (January, 1931), p. 21. 

56. McClellan, Motor Travel (February, 1931), pp. 20-21. 




■..: ■■■'f': : :' : ■-.- ?.:■ ." ■■.:■""■' .:■■" :: "■ 

T/ze Wyoming 
State Capitol 


Sheila Sundquist Peel 

•- \ 



Many people have stood at the head of Capitol Avenue in 
Cheyenne and looked squarely north at the monumental building 
that dominates that street. We have noted its similarity to the 
nation's Capitol and the capital buildings of thirty-five other 
states. The obvious questions concerning the impulse behind us- 
ing this style of architecture re-occur and focus our attention on 
the choices made by the capitol building committee some one hun- 
dred years ago. What does the design represent? What does this 
building say about the founders of Wyoming and their hopes for 
this territon/? 

I plan to explore the choices made by this committee and then 
look further at the reactions of the people of Wyoming to this 
design and the implications of these choices. We know that the 
Wyoming Capitol Building is more than just the house of our 
government. Let's find out just what we can conclude about this 
building from our historical perspective. 

According to an article in the July 23, 1890 Illustrated 
Edition of the Cheyenne Daily Leader, the building was even 
then impressive. "In all Cheyenne, which is preeminently 
a city of handsome buildings, no structure compares in mas- 
siveness and beauty with Wyoming's statehouse, a noble 
structure at the head of Capitol Avenue." 

But this building did not come easily to Wyoming. The 
Ninth Territorial Legislative Assembly authorized the con- 
struction of the State Capitol Building in Cheyenne in 1886 
even though Governor Warren had not recommended 
such a building. Governor Francis E. Warren, noting that 
Wyoming owned no public buildings, recommended to the 
Legislature that an insane asylum and a school for the deaf 
and dumb be built. The legislature, with the approval of 
the United States Congress, provided for these institutions 
and a university building and capitol building. The act pro- 
vided for the construction of a capitol building at Cheyenne 
at a cost not to exceed $150,000. 

The governor was directed to nominate a capitol com- 
mission of five legislators to direct the construction. The 
commission was to find a suitable site in the city, hire a 
competent architect, and award the construction contract. 
The commissioners appointed by Governor Warren were 
Erasmus Nagle, elected chairman at the first, March 17th, 
meeting, Charles N. Potter, elected secretary, Nathaniel 
R. Davis, Morton E. Post, and Nicolas O'Brien. All of these 
men lived in Cheyenne and represented Laramie County 
in the legislature. They were to select a building worthy 
to serve their territorial legislature that would reflect the 
popular attitude toward appropriate surroundings for the 
law makers. This attitude appears to be one of permanence 
unlike Nathaniel Hawthorne's suggestion in The House of 
the Seven Gables. 

I doubt whether even our public edifices— our capitals, state houses, 
courthouses, city hall, and churches— ought to be built of such per- 
manent materials as stone or brick. It were better that they should 
crumble to ruin once in twenty years, or thereabouts, as a hint to 
the people to examine into and reform the institutions which they 
symboli/e. (Hawthorne p. 193) 


This capitol building was being built to stand for years 
and was to be a legacy to the future. It was not a selection 
that would be made lightly. In the commission's final 
report they noted that "such a building would be ser- 
viceable and reflect credit upon the territory." (WCBC 
Report p. 8) An obvious model would be the nation's 

But this model did not spring up all at once. The 
United States Capitol Building was built from plans sub- 
mitted by Dr. William Thorton, a young physician from 
the Virgin Islands, in the 1793 Capitol Building design com- 
petition. Construction of the capitol was supervised by 
Benjamin Henry Latrobe and finally completed in 1827 
under Charles Bulfinch. The capitol had two wings topped 
by a copper-covered dome. This Palladian style of architec- 
ture was proposed by Thomas Jefferson who felt that the 
new American states had a kinship with the ancient re- 
publics of Greece and Rome and that the style of their an- 
cient temples was expressive of the monumental dignity 
that should attach to American public buildings. (Daniel 
p. 137) 

In 1851, Thomas W. Walter won the competition for 
the "Architect of the Capitol Extention" for renovations 
and restructuring of the capitol dome. On December 2, 
1863, the capitol, as it stands today, was completed. Dur- 
ing the Civil War Abraham Lincoln ordered that the dome 
construction continue in spite of all odds because, "when 
the people see the dome rising it will be a sign that we in- 
tend the union to go on," he said. (Craig p. 86) 

That dome made its impression on state capitol ar- 
chitecture. A rash of dome building began. Wisconsin, in 
1866, added a dome to its eclectic capitol. Illinois' domed 
state capitol rose from 1868 to 1888. Indiana began building 
its domed capitol in 1878. The winning plans for the state 
capitol of New York were thrown out in 1871 by the Com- 
missioners of the Land Office because the capitol had no 
central dome. (Hitchcock p. 174) Michigan hired E. E. 
Myers to design its domed state capitol later that year. Ten 
years later Myers won the competition for designing the 
Texas State capitol, with a dome! That commission board 
boasted that the new capitol, "of all similar structures in 
America ... is second in size only to the National Capitol 
at Washington, D.C." (Hitchcock p. 186) 

When the 1883 capitol competition for Colorado's capi- 
tol building ended in a three way tie, the Colorado Com- 
missioners purchased all three plans and engaged Myers 
to combine them into one great plan. His invitation to sub- 
mit plans to the Wyoming Capitol Building Commission 
was not as profitable. 

Previous Page. The Capitol Building as it appeared shortly after 
completion in 1888. The east and west walls were constructed 
so that wings could be added later. 

The Wyoming Capitol Building Commission author- 
ized advertisements for an architect in the Cheyenne Daily 
Sun, the Cheyenne Democratic Leader and the Cheyenne Daily 
Tribune on March 17, 1886, but offered no premium for any 
plans submitted. At their next meeting twelve days later, 
Mr. D. W. Gibbs of Toledo, Ohio, was the first architect 
to approach the commission. He "addressed the commis- 
sion with reference to submitting a plan for the Capitol 
Building and a general discussion occurred between him 
and the various members of the commission relation to the 
requirements of such a plan." (WCBC minutes p. 14) 

At the April 29, 1886 commission meeting, a resolu- 
tion offered by Mr. Post stated that "any plans offered by 
any architect for the state Capitol Building shall not be ex- 
hibited or shown to any parties except to the members of 
the commission and such experts as the commission may 
choose to examine such plans." (WCBC minutes p. 28) The 
following discussion of various plans submitted to the com- 
mission and the charges later made by Myers may explain 
this statement made by the commission. 

At that same meeting E. E. Myers presented his plans 
and agreed to the proposal just passed. Two days later 
D. W. Gibbs submitted his plans. 

At the May 15th meeting, when Commissioner Davis 
was absent, plans submitted by Wilson and Johnston of 
St. Paul were rejected because they were not complete 
enough. Commissioner Post then moved to reject both the 

Myers' and Gibbs' plans with Commissioners O'Brien and 
Potter voting yes, Commissioner Nagle voting no and 
Commissioner Post not voting. Commissioner O'Brien 
then moved to reconsider both plans. This motion passed 
unanimously. The E. E. Myers plans were then rejected 
with only Commissioner O'Brien voting no. "Further 
discussion of the plans of D. W. Gibbs and Company was 
indulged in without result." (WCBC minutes p. 38) 

At the May 17th meeting Commissioner O'Brien was 
absent but the plans of D. W. Gibbs were accepted unan- 
imously "providing that they make such alterations in their 
plans already submitted to make them conform to the 
views and the wishes of the commission." (WCBC minutes 
p. 39) The following day D. W. Gibbs accepted "award and 
conditions" by telegraph. 

The plans showed a two winged building topped by 
a dome with allowances for expansion at the ends of the 
wings. Only the center section was constructed during 
1886-87 with sandstone quarried at Fort Collins, Colorado. 
The superstructure and dome, built at the same time, were 
constructed with a lighter grey sandstone quarried in 
Rawlins, Wyoming. David Gibbs described the style as 
classic Renaissance in his biography. The Biographical Dic- 
tionary of American Architects calls it neo-classic, but on 
closer inspection the building looks very much like the 
Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas. 

E. E. Myers, on his way to Denver in June, 1886, 

Its two new wings completed in 1890, the Capitol was viewed from the southwest. 



stopped in Cheyenne and heard rumors that some of his 
elevations and photographs had been sent to Gibbs in 
Toledo. (Hitchcock p. 194) In a June 11, 1886, letter to 
Myers, Commissioner Potter writes, "I assure you that no 
advantage has been taken of you." (WCBC minutes p. 48) 

In spite of what may appear to be a similarity to both 
the Texas and Colorado capitol buildings, the grandeur and 
permanence radiated by the Wyoming State Capitol Build- 
ing repeated itself in the cornerstone laying ceremony. The 
Wednesday, May 18, 1887, Cheyenne Democratic Leader 
described the day as "a brighter morning never dawned 
over the 'Magic City of the Plains' . . . flags and streamers 
were displayed from every public building in the city." An 
estimated 2,000 people marched in the afternoon parade 
with double that number watching. The addresses made 
by the Honorable Judge Joseph M. Carey and Governor 
Thomas Moonlight were meticulously described, as were 
the barbecue and lemonade. No mention was made of the 
style of the building. 

In spite of the commission's rejection and then accep- 
tance of plans with the concern for "condition being met," 
no reference in the minutes was made to the style of the 
building. Can we believe that the dome was the accepted 
style for capitol buildings? Many Gilded Age architects 
thought so. The monumental pattern of the National 
Capitol with dome, rotunda, temple portico and wings was 
repeated into the twentieth century in Mississippi in 1901, 


Because of crowded conditions, additions were added to the east 
and west wings in 1917. Since then work on the capitol has 
been cosmetic rather than structural. This photo was made in 
the 1930s. 

in Montana in 1902, in Rhode Island in 1905, in South 
Dakota in 1905, in Pennsylvania in 1909, in Arkansas hi 
1917 and in Idaho in 1919. 

There is no record of the Wyoming State Capitol Build- 
ing Commission's awareness of what Jefferson saw as the 
architectural symbols of American democracy; the Greek 
columns of reason and order, the dome of unity or the 
grand entrance of power. All that the commission stated 
was that "the main center [of the capitol building] should 
consist of basement, first and second stories, the wings to 
recess back a proper distance from the front to constitute 
good architecture and taste ..." (WCBC Report p. 10) 
They wanted the "front to be treated on the French 
Renaissance Class of architecture." While the architect, Mr. 
Gibbs, comments on his design accompanied his draw- 
ings, his statement dealt only slightly with the design of 
the building. "The design is in classic Renaissance. 
Without attempt to elaborate by decoration we have 
depended upon proportion and substantial construction 

rather than display of carving and multiplicity of openings, 
which so much tend to weaken masses and create impres- 
sions of flimsical structional folly under covering of giv- 
ing large amounts of light and so-called 'perfect ventila- 
tion.' " (WCBC Report p. 15) A greater amount of time was 
spent discussing the heating and ventilation system than 
was spent discussing the design of the building. 

As late as 1927, an article in The Architectural Form 
warned that the "American people are very largely . . . 
committed to the firm belief that a state capitol must be 
designed ... in Classic fashion . . . surmounted by a 
dome." (Freedlander p. 325) This commitment appears to 
be true in Wyoming from the point of view of both the 

commission and the architect who had a desire for a clear 
link to Washington, D.C. as Wyoming worked toward 
statehood. While her sister states were building domed 
state capitols all around her, Wyoming sought the same 
statement. As a clear reflection of the connection with a 
democratic past and the promise of a grand future, Wyo- 
ming, too, built her symbol. 

As Frederic H. Porter, former Wyoming State Preser- 
vation Officer of the American Institute of Architects said 
about the capitol building in a 1972 interview, "There can 
always be an ever present and visible reminder of past 
glories . . . which so adequately portrays our times, our 
customs and our fashions." 


"Architect's Drawings, Wyoming State Capitol Building," Wyoming State 

Archives and Historical Department, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1886. 
Bagenal, Philip and Jonathan Meades. The Illustrated Atlas of the World's 

Great Buildings. New York: Galahad Books, 1982. 
Baumgart, Fritz. A History of Architectural Styles. New York: Praeger 

Publishers, 1970. 
Craig, Lois et al. The Federal Presence. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT 

Press, 1977. 
Daniel, Jean Houston and Price Daniel. Executive Mansions and Capitols 

of America. Wisconsin: Country Beautiful, 1969. 
Erwin, Marie H. Wyoming Historical Blue Book: A Legal and Political History 

of Wyoming, 1886-1943. Denver: Bradford-Robinson Printing Co., 1946. 
Fletcher, Sir Banister. A History of Architecture: On the Comparative Method. 

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1954. 
Freedlander, Joseph H. "Designing Capitol Buildings," The Architectural 

Form, Volume XLVI (June, 1927). 
Hitchcock, Henry-Russel and William Seales. Temples of Democracy. New 

York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976. 
Junge, Mark. "National Register of Historic Places Inventory— Nomination 

Form for Wyoming State Capitol Building" Cheyenne, Wyoming: 

Wyoming Recreation Commission, Wyoming State Archives, 1972. 
Kemper and Associates. Wyoming State Office Building Design Develop- 
ment. Cheyenne, Wyoming: State Capitol Building Commission, 1980. 
Minutes of the Wyoming Capitol Building Commission. (March 17, 

1886-October 25, 1886.) Cheyenne, Wyoming: Wyoming State Archives. 

Morris, Robert C. "The Wyoming Capitol." Collections of the Wyoming 

Historical Society (Annals of Wyoming), I (1897). 
Office of the Capitol Building Commission, "Final Report of the Capitol 

Building Commission" Publications: Capitol Building Commission, Annual 

and Biennial Reports, Plans, 1886-1914. (Box 2-J), Cheyenne, Wyoming: 

Wyoming State Archives. 
Poppeliers, John C, S. Allen Chambers, Jr., and Nancy B. Schwartz. What 

Style Is It? Washington D.C: The Preservation Press. 1983. 
Reps, John W. Monumental Washington. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton 

University Press, 1967. 
Smith, G. E. Kidder. A Pictorial History of Architecture in America. Volume 

I and II. New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, 1976. 
Souvenir and Official Guide of the Laying of the Corner Stone of the Capitol 

of Wyoming. Daily Sun Print., 1887. 
Thorndike, Joseph J. ed. Three Centuries of Notable American Architects. 

New York: American Heritage Publishing Company, 1981. 
"To-Day's Fete," Cheyenne Democratic Leader, (May 18, 1887). 
Withey, Henry F. and Elsie Rathbum Withey. Biographical Dictionary of 

American Architects. Los Angeles, California: New Age Publishing Co., 
"Wyoming's Superb Capitol Building,'' Cheyenne Daily Leader, (Illustrated 

Edition, July 23, 1890) Part I. 
Vertical Files, Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Depart- 
ment, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 
Vertical Files, Wyoming State Library, Cheyenne, Wyoming. 




The discovery of gold in the American West caused 
some of the most extensive migrations to occur in the 
history of our nation. The gold rushes marked the be- 
ginning of the active occupance and settlement of much 
of the American West. The discovery of gold in California 
in 1848, of course, touched off the first of these mining 
rushes; and caused the rapid population of that state. More 
important, its backwash led to the development of much 
of the rest of the mountain West. From California, the 
mining frontier moved eastward and eventually enveloped 
most of the West. 

While geology restricted gold mining almost exclu- 
sively to the Trans-Mississippi West, its influence tran- 
scended the goldfields and the West itself. The nature of 
mining prevented its self-sufficiency. As a result, mining 
acted as a stimulus and support for other economic ac- 
tivities, including transportation, trade, agriculture, 
lumbering, and manufacturing. Mining supplied the ur- 
ban centers, markets, and capital necessary for the de- 
velopment and expansion of transportation to and within 
the mining regions, and resulted in the development of 
outfitting and supply towns and attendant transportation 
routes. 1 What factors determined which points became the 
major supply centers and what changes occurred with 
time? How did new gold discoveries and the extension of 
the mining region, new and better forms of transportation, 
the development of new mining regions, the extension and 
improvement of supply routes and so forth influence the 
pattern of supply centers? Did settlements originating as 
supply points for the goldfields differ in any significant way 
from the mining towns they supplied? How important was 
the function of supplying the mines to the origin and 
development of towns? And, to what degree are the supply 
towns and their supply routes reflected in the present set- 
tlement pattern? 



California Supply Points 

The development of supply points during the Califor- 
nia goldrush illustrated the basic principles that repeat 
themselves over and over throughout the mining West 
during the 19th century. 2 The majority of goods from the 
Atlantic seaboard, the principal source of supplies for 
California, reached the state via ocean steamers or sail- 
ing vessels. 3 Almost from the start, San Francisco assumed 
the role of leading port and major supply center for the 
California goldfields. 4 As early as December 1849, San 
Francisco received four-fifths of the supplies coming into 
California. 5 San Francisco merchants eventually trans- 
shipped much of these goods via steam or sail up the Sacra- 
mento and San Joaquin Rivers into the Central Valley. Here 
numerous points aspired to become secondary supply cen- 
ters. 6 Speculation in town sites reached exorbitant propor- 
tions. Almost every cross-roads, river-landing, and ferry 
had its paper metropolis. Eventually of all the aspirants 
three points, Sacramento, Stockton, and Marysville be- 
came the principal interior distributing centers for the 
mines. 7 Of these, Sacramento achieved the most impor- 
tance. Freight deposited on the levee at Sacramento 
amounted to approximately 96,800 tons per year. Of this, 
an estimated ten per cent was retained in Sacramento, fif- 
teen per cent was forwarded upstream and seventy five 
per cent was teamed to the interior. 8 

Marysville initially ranked behind Sacramento and 
Stockton as a teaming center. The mountain areas that 
Marysville served proved too rugged for wagon trains. 
Marysville, consequently, became the largest packing 
center of the three. Eventually, the construction of wagon 
roads increased Marysville's importance as a teaming 
center. Thereafter, LaPorte, Downieville, and Oroville 
assumed its packing functions. 9 




by Randall E. Rohe 

From Sacramento, Stockton, and Marysville, pack 
trains and wagons hauled supplies to the larger mining 
towns serving as transshipment points. The "heads of 
whoa navigation" or sub-depots were usually the larger 
and strategically located mining towns like Auburn. 10 From 
the sub-depots, pack trains carried the supplies to the 
various mining camps of the surrounding districts. Each 
of these points held certain advantages that made them 
the logical distribution point for the nearby mining camps. 
For example, Auburn, excellently located at the head of 
several ravines, possessed central location and accessibility. 
As a result, Auburn, easily supplied from Sacramento, 
became the distribution point for camps along the North 
Fork of the American River. 11 

The goldfields of northwestern California initially at- 
tracted relatively little attention. At first, pack teams simply 
brought supplies to Shasta from Sacramento or Marys- 
ville. 12 In 1850 as the northwest assumed more importance, 
towns nearer the goldfields appeared to supply the mines. 
The goldfields of northwestern California brought about 
the development of both coastal and upper Sacramento 
River towns as supply points. The Sacramento Valley 
towns primarily served the Upper Sacramento and 
Klamath rivers, and its tributaries like the Shasta, Scott, 
and upper Trinity. The Humboldt Valley towns principally 
supplied the lower Trinity, Klamath and Salmon Rivers. 13 
The coastal towns included Trinidad, Humboldt, Eureka, 
Union, and Klamath. 14 Trinidad, at first, apparently was 
the most important of these coastal supply points. 15 Shift- 
ing population and improved routes, however, caused the 
importance of Trinidad to decline soon after 1851. By 1853, 
Union and Crescent City took its place. 16 The upper Sacra- 
mento towns included Colusa, Butteville, Butte City, Placer 
City, and Red Bluffs. 17 Of these river towns, Colusa, which 
marked the head of navigation, initially proved to be the 

principal river supply depot. Light draft steamers began 
regular runs to Colusa in 1852. 18 From there teams hauled 
the supplies to Shasta. Shasta, as the terminus of wagon 
travel, developed into an important reshipment point and 
packing center for the mines. From Shasta, or one of its 
sub-depots, Weaverville and Yreka, pack trains hauled the 
supplies to individual mining settlements. 19 Shasta con- 
trolled the trade to the upper Trinity, Scott, and Shasta 
Valley and competed with Union and Crescent City for the 
trade of the Salmon and lower Scott Rivers. Shasta, like- 
wise attracted a noticeable portion of the trade of the Yuba 
and upper Klamath away from Crescent City. 20 Until the 
late 1850s, Shasta constituted the leading packing center of 
northern California. In 1858 construction of wagon roads 
deprived Shasta of its usefulness as a packing center, and 
by 1860 Red Bluffs had assumed Shasta's role as a team- 
ing center. 21 . 

Removal of snags in the summer of 1852 and high 
water the following year opened the river for navigation 
to Red Bluffs. As a result, Red Bluffs succeeded Colusa in 
1852 as the teaming terminal for northern California. 22 The 
opening of wagon roads in the late 1850s between Shasta 
and Weaverville and Yreka caused the replacement of pack 
trains with wagons. 23 

Many of California supply towns broadened their 
sphere of trade with the discovery of gold in southwestern 
Oregon. The beginning of mining in Oregon additionally 
developed new supply points in both that state and Califor- 
nia. The towns of Union, Yreka, Crescent City, Shasta in 
northern California and Umpqua, Scottsburgh, Elkton, and 
Winchester in Oregon, among others, all developed into 
supply centers for the mines of southwestern Oregon. 24 
From these towns, pack trails converged at Jacksonville, 
the major mining town of the region, which acted as a 
distributing center for the surrounding mining towns. 25 







■Jfr Major Supply Center 

• Secondary Supply Point 

• Distribution Point 
■ Selected Mining Town 





Placerville, California, 1850 

For several years, Scottsburg, located at the head of 
the tidewater on the Umpqua, did a large business with 
the mines, competing with Oregon City and Portland, and 
enjoyed almost a monopoly until the establishment of Cres- 
cent City in 1852. 26 Crescent City gradually attracted more 
and more of the mining trade of southwestern Oregon. 27 
In early May 1855, the Union described the "lively" trade 
of Crescent City stating that "fifty to two hundred miles are 
dispatched most every day heavily loaded to the mines at 
Sailor's Diggings, Althouse, Jacksonville." 28 The Union 
touted Crescent City as the center of business and trade 
of the Klamath, Rogue and Illinois Rivers. 29 Crescent City 
not only wholly or partially supplied the Illinois Valley and 
Rogue River Valley, but the Klamath and Smith River 
valleys in California as well. 30 

British Columbia Supply Points 

The Fraser River rush meant more trade for existing 
supply towns. Practically all supplies came from points in 
ihe United States. Among these, San Francisco and to a 
lesser degree Portland gained the most importance. 
Numerous other points promoted as commercial depots 


for the new mines failed for various reasons. 31 Portland, 
unable to compete with San Francisco for the Fraser River 
trade via the ocean route, implemented an interior route 
via The Dalles. Victoria, New Westminster, Yale, and Hope 
in British Columbia all served as transshipment points. 32 
With the development of Cariboo, Victoria gained further 
prominence. At times of high water, steamers could reach 
Yale and especially after the completion of the Cariboo 
Trail, it achieved increasing importance. 33 Hope, the head 
of navigation on the lower Fraser, became an important 
distributing center for the lower Fraser, and the mining 
region adjacent to the American border. 34 While Victoria 
supplied the Fraser and Cariboo Mines, it failed to capture 
much of the trade of the Kootenay and Upper Colum- 
bia. Points within the U.S. such as Lewiston and Walla 
Walla with more direct access to these goldfields gained 
practically all their trade. 35 Characteristically, Wallula 
received freight and distributed it through Walla Walla and 
Lewiston to Pickney City (Colville), which in turn dis- 
tributed it to the Kootenay and Columbia River mines. 36 

Colorado Supply Points 

The location of Colorado dictated that its supplies come 
not from western supply centers like San Francisco, but 
almost exclusively from the Midwest, particularly from 
Missouri River towns. Salt Lake City, Provo, Taos, and 


Supplying The Mines Of British Columbia 1860 





Santa Fe at first acted as supply centers for Colorado. 37 The 
vast majority of the supplies for the Colorado goldfields, 
eventually however, came from centers along the Missouri. 
The Colorado trade was widely distributed among the 
Missouri River towns. In fact, relatively few towns on the 
river did not engage to some degree in the Colorado 
trade. 38 During 1859, Leavenworth, Atchison, St. Joseph, 
Nebraska City, Omaha, and Council Bluffs probably con- 
stituted the leading points of supply for Colorado. 39 In 
subsequent years, these towns continued as the principal 
supply points for Colorado. Generally, only the order of 
importance changed from year-to-year. 40 

Supplies reached the Missouri River towns from the 
East via steamboats, railroads, and wagons. From these 


towns, wagons carried the goods to Denver. Denver, 
located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, developed into 
a major transshipment point. At other points along the 
range, subsidiary transshipment centers arose. From these 
towns along the mountain front, wagon trains carried sup- 
plies to points within the goldfields. The larger mining 
towns like Breckenridge and Central City served as dis- 
tributing points for the smaller, outlying camps. 41 

Northwest Supply Points 

Almost simultaneously with activities in Colorado 
came important gold discoveries in Idaho and northeastern 
Oregon. These goldfields naturally looked to Portland for 


its supplies. Although it remained subordinate to San Fran- 
cisco as a port, Portland developed into an important 
distributing point. Ocean-going steamers and sailing ves- 
sels either carried goods from San Francisco to Portland, 
or to a lesser degree directly to Portland. From Portland, 
river steamers transported the supplies up the Columbia 
and Snake Rivers into the interior of the Northwest. At 
various upriver points, a number of towns developed as 
transshipment points. These included The Dalles, Umatilla, 
Walla Walla, and Wallula on the Columbia and Lewiston 
on the Snake. The importance of The Dalles stemmed from 
its position (Dalles-Celilo portage) as the essential trans- 
shipment point for all river traffic. The Dalles, important 
in the Fraser and Colville rushes, benefitted little from the 
Clearwater rush. Direct steamboat transportation to 
Lewiston made that town more important. As the head 
of navigation on the Snake and the nearest point for the 
Clearwater and Salmon mines, Lewiston experienced a 
rapid and prosperous development. The Clearwater and 
Salmon districts, however, declined in productivity fairly 
quickly and Lewiston, dependent on a hinterland largely 
restricted to these mines, followed suit. 42 

Walla Walla, at the junction of the Mullan Road and 
Oregon Trail, became the principal distributing point for 
goods to the northern mining districts of Idaho. 43 In the 
Powder River, Boise Basin and Owyhee districts, it com- 

The Cariboo Road in 1870. As the photo 

illustrates, its completion was no small 


peted with The Dalles. 44 Although all Walla Walla mer- 
chandise passed through The Dalles, the greater immediate 
accessibility and, therefore, better service afforded by Walla 
Walla offset the more direct connection with the source 
provided by The Dalles. 45 

Umatilla, nearer some of the mining regions east of the 
Cascades, served as a center for heavy freight for eastern 
Oregon, southern Idaho and northwestern Nevada. 46 For 
a time, too, it was the chief supply point for central Idaho, 
including the Boise Basin. With time, however, Wallula 
eclipsed Umatilla as the chief supply point for the Boise 
Basin. 47 Wallula acted as a center of freight train transpor- 
tation to Colville, Columbia River and Kootenay placers 
as well as the early mining camps along the Pend Oreille. 
Wallula also received a great deal of freight for distribu- 
tion through Walla Walla and Lewiston. 48 



At times of high water, steamers could travel to the mining towns of 
the Cariboo gold fields. 

San Francisco not only sent supplies via Portland to 
the Idaho mines, but river steamers carried goods from 
there up the Sacramento. Here, Chico and Red Bluffs 
developed as transshipment points. From these towns 
wagons carried supplies through Nevada and into Idaho. 49 
Some northern Sacramento Valley towns, likewise, sup- 
plied the Idaho goldfields via the Fort Hall branch of the 
California Trail. With the construction of the Central Pacific 
Railroad, however, the importance of this route declined 
greatly. In 1866, the railroad reached Colfax, California 
which developed into a transshipment point. Rail carried 
the goods as far as Colfax; from there wagons carried the 
goods into Idaho either following the Humboldt or going 
directly north and connecting with the Chico-Red Bluffs 
route. As the Central Pacific extended eastward, the trans- 
shipment points moved eastward accordingly. 50 

Ruby City formed the Idaho destination for most of 
the California freighters. From there, mule trains redis- 
tributed the goods throughout the Owyhee district. Ruby 
City, likewise, served as a forwarding point for Boise, an 
important distributing point for central Idaho. The majority 
of goods shipped to Boise eventually reached the Boise 
Basin, often through the mining town of Placerville. Placer- 
ville, located on the west side of the Basin, served as a 

distributing point for surrounding mining settlements. 51 
The Idaho mines, largely the result of location, received 
the majority of their supplies from the West. Some Mis- 
souri River towns, however, participated to a limited 
degree in the Idaho trade. 52 Salt Lake City, too, sent some 
supplies, especially flour, to the Idaho mines. 53 The trade 
of Utah, however, did not amount "to anything of conse- 
quence." As the Statesman noted, "The Willamette Valley 
and California must continue to be the source of supplies 
for the entire mineral region for Idaho west of the Rocky 
Mountains." 54 

The Columbia River towns, dominant in northern 
Idaho, faced stiff competition from Sacramento Valley 
towns in central and southern Idaho. Eventually the 
Sacramento Valley towns gained the upper hand. In 
September 1865, the Avalanche reported that the merchants 
of "Placerville, not unlike the balance of merchants in the 
Boise Basin, intend to ship by the Red Bluff route." 55 The 
Idaho World, a month later reported that three-fourths of 
the trains coming into Idaho were from California. 56 By the 
spring of 1866, the Avalanche claimed that "Owyhee books 
are opened on the Sacramento and closing on the Colum- 
bia." 57 Nearly simultaneously, the World reported that 
direct transportation from California almost wholly sup- 
plied the Owyhee trade and expected that eventually was 
"also bound to monopolize the carriage to the Boise 
Basin." 58 


Supplying The Colorado Mines 1860 




Denver, to the east of the Colorado gold-fields became the major shipment center for the region. Here freighters line Larimer 
Street in the 1800s. 


Unlike Idaho, Montana proved accessible to both West 
Coast and Middle West supply centers. 59 Regardless of 
rates, each region had certain necessities to offer Montana. 
A fierce competition for the trade of the Montana mines 
resulted. Distance was no deterrent to enterprise. The costs 
were great, but none the less profitable. From 1864 through 
1868, San Francisco, Portland, Salt Lake City, St. Louis, 
and even Chicago competed on a large scale for the min- 
ing trade of Montana. 60 From the West, San Francisco and 
to a lesser degree Portland served Montana via the Col- 
umbia River-Mullan Road. 61 Of the various transshipment 
centers along the Columbia, Walla Walla, the eastern ter- 
minus of steamboat navigation served as the chief distri- 
buting point for Montana bound supplies. 62 From the east, 
supplies typically reached the Missouri River via wagon 
trains, railroads, and steamboats. Of the various Missouri 
River towns, St. Louis initially almost wholly monopolized 
river trade to Montana. St. Louis continued its importance 
even after points like Council Bluffs and Sioux City, some 
600 and 800 miles upstream, became steamboat centers. 63 
Ft. Benton, the head of navigation on the Missouri, was 
the most important eastern transshipment point for Mon- 
tana goods. 64 

Some supplies from the East reached Montana over- 
land from towns like Atchison, Nebraska City, and 
Omaha. Of these points, Omaha, largely because it was 
the eastern terminus of the Union Pacific, gained the 
greater share of this overland trade to Montana. 65 A 
government report stated that in 1867 Omaha "enjoys a 
lucrative trade with the Territories of Idaho and Montana, 
receiving its supplies by rail from Chicago, and by river 
from St. Louis." 66 Wagon freighting to Montana, however, 
never became an important element in the commercial life 
of the Missouri River towns. 67 The difficult overland route 
was often plagued by hostile Indians, required crossing 
and recrossing the Continental Divide, and often took as 
long as four or five months. The availability of steamer 
transportation to Ft. Benton afforded a more practical 
means of participating in the Montana trade. Despite its 
seasonal navigability, the Missouri provided faster and 
cheaper transportation, relatively free of Indian harass- 
ment. 68 

From the West, Los Angeles, especially in 1865 and 
1866, sent a considerable amount of goods to Montana as 
well as Idaho by way of Salt Lake City. A number of 
geographic, climatic, and geologic factors combined to fun- 
nel part of the Montana trade to Los Angeles. The most 
obvious and perhaps important was the winter virtually 
eliminated wagon trade from other points. 69 Goods from 
other places, likewise, reached Montana through Salt Lake 
City. Among others, Denver, for instance, at least initially 
played some role in supplying the Montana mines. 70 

Richardson, in 1865, estimated that three-fifths of the 
goods brought into Montana mining camps came via the 
Missouri River, one-fifth by the way of Oregon and Califor- 


nia, and one-fifth overland through Kansas and Ne- 
braska. 71 With only eight boats reaching Ft. Benton in 1865, 
Richardson's estimate seems doubtful. Other contem- 
porary evidence further refutes his claim. 72 During 1866, 
however, the number of steamboats reaching Ft. Benton 
increased immensely and during that year half the freight 
of Montana entered by way of the Missouri. 73 The nature 
of the Missouri, however, confined trade to the spring and 
summer months and enabled other points to compete in 
the Montana trade. Excessive handling of freight at 
portages and the resultant increased transportation costs 
largely eliminated any chance of Portland ever monopoliz- 
ing markets east of the Rockies. Good delivery time and 
the long shipping season made it possible for Portland, 
however, to make a bid for some of the Montana trade. 
Points in California were able to move goods all year long, 
but were faced with more Indian troubles than other 
points. 74 

The initial pattern of supply towns for the Montana 
goldfields underwent numerous changes with the exten- 
sion of rail lines west. The Missouri River towns, princi- 
pally St. Louis, originally constituted the most important 
eastern supply center for Montana. As the network of 
railroads spread westward, however, points farther inland 
gained more ready access to the Montana goldfields. Each 
time the railroad reached a Missouri River town, all steam- 
boat commerce between that point and the towns below 
practically ceased. 75 In 1867 and 1868, railroads from 
Chicago reached Council Bluffs and Sioux City. 76 Provided 
with a convenient outlet on the Missouri, Chicago soon 
captured the bulk of the Montana trade. 77 

The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 
further altered the pattern of supply to Montana. After 
1870, a marked reduction in the use of the Missouri River 
in the Montana trade occurred. In 1870, only eight steamers 
landed cargoes at Ft. Benton. 78 The completion of the 
transcontinental railroad likewise practically eliminated ef- 
fective competition by Pacific Coast supply centers which 
depended on a water route. In 1869, a contemporary writer 
observed "that the trade of Montana with the Pacific Coast, 
which was quite extensive three years ago has now dwin- 
dled to insignificant proportions." 79 The completion of the 
transcontinental railroad, too, affected the pattern of 
Western supply points. Its completion, for instance, trans- 
ferred from Umatilla to Kelton, Utah the role of transfer 
point for the Boise Basin. 80 At the same time, Salt Lake City 
lost its position as the great transshipment point for the 
Montana mines. The railhead town of Corrine in northern 
Utah became increasingly important as a transfer point. 81 
By the mid-1870s, the Helena Herald and even the Benton 
Record admitted that the major portion of the Montana 
trade filtered northward from Corrine. 82 In 1874, the North- 
ern Pacific Railroad terminal Bismarck challenged Corrine 
as the railroad freight transfer point for the Montana mines. 
In 1873, the Northern Pacific reached Bismarck, established 

Freight wagons crossing Ute Pass in Colorado. This photo illustrates the nature of the terrain that supply trains had to traverse in much of tin 
West to prolusion the mines. 


a year earlier as a shipping point for the Montana gold- 
fields. As a result, Sioux City lost much of its importance 
and the base of steamboat operations shifted upstream to 
Yankton and Bismarck. 83 From Bismarck, the freight, trans- 
ferred from railroad to river steamboat, reached Ft. Ben- 
ton in less time than previously. Missouri River transpor- 
tation, however, remained restricted to early summer and 
Corrine continued as the main freight transfer point for 
Montana. Corrine reached its peak in 1877. 84 The exten- 
sion of the Utah Northern Railroad to Blackfoot, Idaho in 
1878 brought the demise of Corrine. 85 In 1887, the Great 
Northern (St. Faui and Pacific) reached Helena and the 
Bismarck to Ft. Benton trade dwindled to insignificance. 86 
Within Montana, a number of towns developed into 
distributing points. Of these, Helena and Missoula gained 
the most notability. Goods coming from the West usually 
went through Missoula. Missoula, located on the Mullan 
Road at the confluence of trails from the Bitter Root, 
Flathead, and Blackfoot valleys served western Montana, 
especially the Cedar Creek mines. Missoula, too, for- 
warded some goods from the East via Ft. Benton or 
Ogden. 87 Helena, however, forwarded most goods com- 
ing from the East and of the various secondary distributing 
points, it achieved the greatest importance. Its central loca- 
tion between Ft. Benton and many of the important min- 
ing districts largely accounted for the development of 
Helena as a major distributing point. 88 

Black Hills Supply Points 

The development of the Black Hills goldfields once 
again altered the pattern of supply towns. Supplies for the 
Black Hills came almost entirely from the East. Cheyenne, 
Sidney, Bismarck, and Ft. Pierce acted as the major for- 
warding points. Of these, Cheyenne and Sidney, largely 
due to their nearness to the goldfields, and their already 
developed freighting facilities, at least initially dominated 
the Black Hills trade. 89 At first, Cheyenne, which received 
goods via railroad from Omaha, formed the most impor- 
tant. 90 Both Sidney and Cheyenne, located on the Union 
Pacific, were within 200 miles of the earliest discoveries 
in the Hills. The shifting of mining northward, however, 
put points along the Missouri in a better position to serve 
the Dakota mines. Cheyenne and Sidney gradually lost 
trade to Bismarck and Ft. Pierre. 91 Both places, however, 
remained shipping points for the Hills until the railroad 
reached Rapid City in the 1880s. 92 

Ft. Pierre, the closest point to the Hills, concentrated 
cargoes from Sioux City, Yankton, and Bismarck and sent 
them westward. 93 Goods from Sioux City, and Bismarck 
originally came from Chicago and points east via rail. 
Steamboats carried the goods to Ft. Pierre. By carefully 
planned through-shipments on coordinated schedules and 
use of the most direct route, freighters using Fort Pierre 
soon outstripped their competitors. Winter, of course, 

The use of pack trains to carry supplies persisted in areas where the terrain was particularly rugged, the area remote and the population sparse. 
Here a pack train enters Ironton, Colorado. 


Business district of the Dalles, Oregon, 1864. 

closed river traffic to Ft. Pierre and necessitated the haul- 
ing of supplies overland all the way from Yankton. Osten- 
sibly, this restriction did not greatly reduce the importance 
of Ft. Pierre, which apparently handled two-thirds of the 
supplies coming into the Hills. 94 The completion of the 
Chicago and Northwestern to Pierre ended the use of 
steamboats and the importance of Yankton and Sioux City 
declined. Supplies, thereafter reached Ft. Pierre by rail and 
from there wagons carried them into the Hills. 95 

Within the Hills, two major distributing points de- 
veloped. Rapid City, located along the mountain front, 
became the supply depot for the Southern Hills. It acted 
as the base of supplies for all camps south of Whitewood 
and Deadwood Gulches. 96 In the Northern Hills, Dead- 
wood, the largest mining town, acted as the main distribu- 
tion point. 97 During 1879, twenty million pounds of freight 
reached the Black Hills. Deadwood probably received and 
distributed over two-thirds of it. 98 

Southwest Supply Points 

The scattered gold mining areas of the Southwest 
received their supplies from a number of widely distributed 
points. Probably the majority of the supplies for the 
goldfields of Arizona, however, came from California. The 
Arizona goldfields obtained supplies from San Francisco 
and to a lesser degree from San Diego and Los Angeles. 

Ocean vessels carried the goods to the mouth of the Col- 
orado from where steamboats transported them upriver 
to such points as Yuma and LaPaz. From these points, 
wagons hauled the supplies inland to points, such as 
Prescott, which acted as distributing centers for the nearby 
mining communities. 99 Conditions at the mouth of the Col- 
orado often made the transfer of goods to river steamers 
difficult. In addition, the shallowness of the Colorado made 
it arduous for even very small steamers to reach Yuma. 
As a result, some freight, especially from Los Angeles, 
reached the Arizona mines via an overland route across 
the Mojave Desert. The Colorado River and Mojave routes 
continued to be used until completion of rail lines in the 
latter 1870s. The goldfields of New Mexico, unlike those 
of Arizona, received the majority of their supplies from the 
East. Various Missouri River towns, especially Indepen- 
dence and Kansas City, supplied the New Mexican 
mines. 100 

An assessment of the importance of mining trade in 
the development of towns seems a difficult task at best. 
In some instances, its importance appears obvious. Nu- 
merous towns like Lewiston developed in direct response 
to the mining trade. The significance to existing towns is 
more difficult to measure. More than one work points out 
the importance of the California rush to Salt Lake City. One 
writer even stated "that the goldrush saved the Salt Lake 
community from irretrievable economic disaster." 101 A 


strong statement perhaps, but indicative of the importance 
of the mining trade. Contemporary appraisals of the im- 
portance of the mining trade offer further insight: 
To nay [sic] one who remembers how narrow the sphere of our trade 
was before the discovery of the mines on the tributaries of the Col- 
umbia, it must be apparent how very valuable the great commerce 
that is now carried on in that direction has become. For some years 
past this trade has been of greater extent and of more importance 
than any other which Oregon has enjoyed. 102 

The population of many non-mining communities, 
likewise, reflected the influence of the goldrushes. In 
March, 1858, for instance, Atchison contained an estimated 
population of 1,500; within a year, it doubled. 103 

Mining towns, themselves, benefitted from the min- 
ing trade. Often the larger, strategically located mining 
towns developed into distributing centers for the surroun- 
ding mining districts. The added benefits derived from this 
trade meant survival and permanence for many mining set- 
tlements. The teaming operations for the California mines, 
for example roughly fixed the line of permanent settlement 
in the Sierra Nevada. A line drawn through Quincy, 
Downieville, Nevada City, Colfax, Placerville, and Jackson, 
all heads of "whoa navigation," mark the limit of sustained 
settlement. 104 

Transportation Routes 

Characteristically, the routes utilized by participants 
of the various rushes, likewise, served as the main 
thoroughfares for movement of supplies and goods. Ad- 
ditional routes, however, some fairly important, that 
mainly carried supplies did develop. A number of supply 
trails extended from Columbia River points into the various 
Canadian and Northwestern goldfields. Similar trails into 
the Northwest goldfields developed from California and 
Utah. Other strictly supply routes evolved in various parts 
of the mining West, but their relative importance remained 
small. 105 

The development of routes from Midwestern and Pa- 
cific Coast supply centers paralleled the growth of transpor- 
tation within the goldfields. The significance of the 
goldrushes to the evolution of transportation probably best 
displays itself in the establishment of routes within the 
goldfields. For the most part, the gold discoveries occurred 
in largely unsettled areas devoid of all but the most 
primitive transportation routes. The advent of mining, 
however, caused the rapid development and expansion of 

California Transportation 

The best illustration of the rapidity of the development 
and expansion of transportation facilities in response to 
mining activities occurred in California. Within ten years, 
transportation reached a point of development that char- 
acteristically required generations to achieve. Rivers served 
as the first means of reaching the mines. Initially, launches 

and whaleboats formed the major means of river transpor- 
tation. In April, 1849, ocean-going vessels ascended the 
Sacramento. 106 Before mid-summer of 1849, twenty vessels 
reached the Sacramento landing and between June and 
September a regular line of schooners ran between San 
Francisco and Sacramento. 107 Large steamboats arrived in 
October of 1849. 108 Soon both the Sacramento and San Joa- 
quin became the scene of intense riverboat activity. By the 
end of 1850, twenty-eight steamboats operated on the 
Sacramento and Feather Rivers alone. 109 Meanwhile, came 
an almost frantic effort to link the main river ports with 
the accelerating number of mining communities. As early 
as September, 1849, a stage line ran between Sacramento 
and Mormon Island. 110 By 1853, a dozen stage lines oper- 
ated out of Sacramento over sixteen separate routes. 111 
Sacramento represented the most important staging center 
but other important staging points developed, such as 
Stockton and Marysville. 112 In a short time, the goldfields 
contained an intricate network of local staging lines. 

In little more than a decade, the goldfields and the area 
adjacent to San Francisco experienced a spectacular ad- 
vance in transportation. In 1848, only a few poorly marked 
trails existed. The development of mining, however, pro- 
vided the urban centers, markets, and means for the im- 
provement and expansion of transportation. The growth 
of transportation routes in the Southern Mines proved 
especially rapid. The undulating hills of the Southern 
Mines, much less broken than those of the Northern 
Mines, offered few obstructions to road construction. In 
1849, roads were already common in the Southern Mines. 113 
The main route to Coloma and the goldfields in 1849 and 
the early 1850s was the Carson Emigrant Road and its 
numerous branches. By 1852, roads replaced many of the 
trails and new roads, a few even planked and graveled, 
appeared. During the 1850s and 1860s, the rapid develop- 
ment of the mines resulted in an imperative need for the 
construction, improvement and extension of roads. The 
newly created counties of the goldfields proved unable to 
meet that need. Consequently, most of the roads, con- 
structed and owned by individuals or turnpike companies, 
operated for profit. By 1860, many turnpikes and numerous 
roads traversed northern California. 114 

Colorado Transportation 

The development of transportation in the rest of the 
mining West differed relatively little from that of Califor- 
nia. Often individual enterprise provided the impetus for 
the construction of branch roads from the main supply 
routes. The development of routes in Colorado offers one 
example. 115 The earliest routes into the Colorado goldfields 
consisted of little "more than wagon tracks from which 
only the largest stones were cast out." 116 The rapidly in- 
creasing demand for the movement of persons and sup- 
plies into the mountains caused the construction of new 
routes and the improvement of existing ones. In 1859, two 

\l 1IIOK s MM' 


Deadwood, the largest mining town in the northern Black Hills was an important distributing point in that area. 


roads from Denver via Golden Gate and Bradford led into 
the goldfields; another road was under construction and 
three more were surveyed. 117 Shortly, roads led into the 
goldfields from each of the important mountain front 
towns. 118 For the most part, the roads traversed similar ter- 
rain "being cut and carried around the sides of the moun- 
tains with a moderate grade, with now and then a steep 
that is difficult to climb." 119 The increasing quantities of 
goods passing into the goldfields furnished the incentive 
to individuals and groups to build roads and charge for 
their use. In 1860, two of the routes into the goldfields 
operated as toll roads. One, opened in late 1859, extended 
from Denver to Bergen Park and late in the spring of 1860 
reached Tarry all. The second, constructed in 1859 from Ft. 
St. Vrain to Mt. Vernon reached Tarry all in I860. 120 The 
Territorial Legislature authorized the construction of some 
eighteen toll roads into the Colorado goldfields between 
September 1861 and February 1865. m 

With the rapid development of routes adjunct to min- 
ing established, what of their long-term importance? Pres- 
ent roads often follow the routes that once carried supplies 
into the goldfields. 122 Today, state highways follow closely 
the major teaming routes that led from Sacramento into 
the mining region. 123 Even some roads of lesser importance 
that crisscrossed the lower foothills proved forerunners of 
present-day secondary roads. 124 The routes within the 
goldfields, at times, too, provided the basis for present 

roads "with only moderate changes caused by railroad and 
automobile." 125 Highway 49, the main north-south route 
of the central Sierra Nevada, though realigned in many 
sections (particularly at major river crossings) in general 
follows goldfield routes. 126 Many present secondary roads 
follow in varying degree the routes of the California 
goldfields. Other times, however, the routes of the 
goldfields passed out of existence after mining ceased. 127 
Development of transportation and local resources altered 
many of the routes established during the goldrush period, 
but eliminated only a few. Many present federal, state, and 
county highways do follow approximately the routes of the 
goldrush era. 128 

The isolation of the goldfields combined with their lack 
of self-sufficiency caused numerous towns to become sup- 
ply centers. Often existing towns, strategically located, 
benefitted from the mining trade. Other times, the trade 
developed wholly new settlements. With time, even cer- 
tain mining towns became important supply points. One 
thread of continuity existed between almost all these 
towns, location at break in transport. 129 Each time cir- 
cumstances required a change in the mode of transport, 
a new settlement or an existing one almost invariably 

Helena, Montana main street in 1865, filled with freight wagons. Note 
the variety of biulding materials used. 


developed into a transshipment point. The major supply 
centers typically developed at points which marked the 
limit for goods conveyed by rail or steam. From the major 
supply centers, wagons or river steamers characteristically 
freighted supplies as far as possible and here secondary 
distributing points developed. From these points, wagons 
or pack trains usually carried the goods to the larger min- 
ing towns. Finally, pack trains transported the supplies to 
the surrounding, outlying mining camps. The pattern of 
supply towns, of course, never remained static. Subject 
to new, changing or improved transportation and new gold 
discoveries, the supply pattern underwent continual 

Pack trains provided the most universal immediate 
answer for the demand for supplies created by the influx 
of population occasioned by mining. The high cost of this 
type of transportation, however, soon induced the con- 
struction of roads to reduce freight costs. The extension 
of wagon roads pushed packing depots farther into the 
goldfields. Eventually, roads connected most of the main 
mining settlements with their supply bases. Pack trains, 
thereafter, operated only where sparse population, rugged 

terrain or other factors excluded profitable road construc- 
tion. With time, railroads played an increasing role in sup- 
plying the mining areas. Completion of rail lines across the 
West, however, did not cause an abrupt decline in wagon 
freighting until the late 1880s and 1890s, wagons remained 
the major means of transporting freight to and from the 
rail depots. 

The supply needs of the mining districts meant growth 
and permanence for many existing towns, fixed the loca- 
tion of numerous settlements, and caused the development 
of wholly new ones. These supply settlements generally 
displayed a more stable growth and a greater degree of 
permanence than the mining communities. Trade, in fact, 
provided an additional source of support and meant sur- 
vival for more than one mining town. Since great distance 
characteristically separated the goldfields from their 
sources of supply, their development coincided with the 
rapid rise of supply routes. The supply demands of the 
mining regions resulted not only in the adoption and 
modification of existing routes but opened new ones. Many 
of these routes have survived to the present. 

1. The various works of Oscar Osburn Winther reveal much of the 
history of trade and transportation in the mining West. Besides those 
referred to in the following section, see Oscar Osburn Winther, The 
Transportation Frontier Trans-Mississippi West 1865-1890 (New York: 
Holt, Rinehard and Winston, 1964) and "The Persistence of Horse- 
Drawn Transportation in the Trans-Mississippi West, 1865-1900" 
in Probing the American West (Santa Fe: Museum of New Mexico Press, 
1962). A rather unique form of transportation is discussed by William 
S. Lewis, "The Camel Pack Trains in the Mining Camps of the 
West," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, XIX (October, 1928), pp. 271-84. 

2. A number of works discuss trade and transportation in goldrush 
California. Of these, Joseph McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines 
in California, 1849-1859" (unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University 
of California, Berkeley, 1949) is excellent. Other useful studies in- 
clude: Joan Margo, "The Food Supply Problem of the California Gold 
Mines, 1848-1858" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Califor- 
nia, Berkeley, 1947); Joseph McGowan, "San Francisco-Sacramento 
Shipping, 1839-1854" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of 
California, Berkeley, 1939); Charles Sargent, "The Evolution of Water 
Transportation and Ports in the San Francisco Bay Area, California 
1848-1880" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of California, 
Berkeley, 1966); and finally, Arethusa South, "California Inland 
Navigation, 1839-1890" (unpublished M.A. Thesis University of 
California, Berkeley, 1939). 

3. "Statistics-California," The American Quarterly Register and Magazine, 
III (December, 1849), p. 381. Ma/atlan, Valparaiso, and Oahu sent 
supplies, too. See also: Harold Whitman Bradley, "California and 
the Hawaiian Islands, 1846-1852," Pacific Historical Review, XVI 
(February, 1947), pp. 18-29; Jay Monaghan, Chile, Peru, and the Califor- 
nia Gold Rush of 1849 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973). 

4. Of some interest is Eric P. Jackson, "The Early Historical Geography 
of San Francisco," Journal of Geography, XXVII (January, 1927), pp. 
12-22. A more substantial work is Gunther Barth, Instant Cities: Ur- 

banization and the Rise of San Francisco and Denver (New York: 
Oxford University Press, 1975). The best work on the early develop- 
ment of San Francisco, however, is Roger W. Lotchin, San Francisco 
1846-1856: From Hamlet to City (New York: Oxford University Press, 

5. "Statistics— California . . .," p. 377. 

6. Ibid., p. 378; Alta, California, July 2, 1849. 

7. Bancroft, History of California Volume VI 1848-1849 . . ., pp. 463-65; 
Marysville Herald, August 5, 1850; Stockton Argus, November 27, 1850; 
Alta California, March 19, 1850; for the areas served by these towns, 
see Edward Vischer, "A Trip to the Mining Regions in the Spring 
of 1859," California Historical Society Quarterly, II (September, 1932), 
p. 228. 

8. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
pp. 46-7. 

9. Ibid. pp. 165, 225, 431. 

10. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
p. 431. 

11. Joseph A. McGowan, History of the Sacramento Valley Volume I (New 
York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1961), pp. 96-7. 

12. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
p. 252. 

13. McGowan, History of the Sacramento Valley . . ., p. 98. 

14. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
p. 227. 

15. Ibid., pp. 231, 233; Union was the chief rival of Trinidad for the trade 
of the Klamath and lower Trinity in 1850-1851. Until 1854, Union 
was the leading coastal packing center. McGowan, "Freighting to 
the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," pp. 235, 238. 

16. San Francisco Evening News, November 22, 1853; McGowan, 
"Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," pp. 234-35. 

17. Alta California, June 5, 1850. 


18. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
p. 254. 

19. Alta California, October 7, 1850; May 19, 1852; McGowan, "Freighting 
to the Mines in California 1849-1859 . . ./'pp. 264-65; History of 
the Sacramento Valley . . ., pp. 88-9. In 1850-51, teams and pack trains 
carried a considerable amount of goods and supplies from Sac- 
ramento or Marysville directly to Shasta. 

20. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
p. 252; Daily Alta California, September 1, 1855. 

21. McGowan, History of the Sacramento Valley . . ., p. 88; "Freighting 
to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," p. 253. 

22. McGowan, History of the Sacramento Valley . . ., p. 91. 

23. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
p. 165. 

24. Alta California, February 23, 1852, Oscar Osburn Winther, The Old 
Oregon Country, A History of Frontier Trade, Transportation, and Travel 
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1949), pp. 182-83; Christian 
August Spreen, "A History of Placer Gold Mining in Oregon, 
1850-1870" (unpublished M. A. Thesis, University of Oregon, 1939), 
p. 90. 

25. Jesse Lee Gilmore, "A History of the Rogue River Valley, Pioneer 
Period, 1850-1862" (unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of 
California, Berkeley, 1952), pp. 348-49; Arthur L. Throckmorton, 
Oregon Argonauts Merchant Adventurers on the Western Frontier 
(Portland: Oregon Historical Society, 1961), p. 163. 

26. Gilmore, Ibid. p. 102; Leslie M. Scott, "The Pioneer Stimulus of 
Gold" Oregon Historical Society Quarterly, XVIII (September, 1917), 
p. 150. 

27. Throckmorton, op. cit., p. 172. 

28. Sacramento Daily Union, May 9, 1855. 

29. Ibid., May 31, 1855; Daily Alta California, September 1, 1855. 

30. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
p. 240: "Packing in the Mountains of California," Hutching's Califor- 
nia Magazine, I (December, 1856), p. 118; Scott, op. at., p. 150. 

31. William J. Trimble, "The Mining Advance into the Inland Empire 
. . . , " Bulletin of the University of Wisconsin No. 638 Histon/ Series, III 
(1914), p. 251; "Vancouver's Island and British Columbia," 35th 
Cong. 2d Sess., Senate Ex. Doc. no. 29, serial 984, (Washington: 
Government Printing Office, 1859), p. 18; Matthew Macfie, Vancouver 
Island and British Columbia (London: Longman, Green, Longman, 
Roberts, and Green, 1865), p. 66. 

32. Throckmorton, op. tit., p. 202; "Vancouver's Island and British Co- 
lumbia . . .," pp. 17-18; R. Cole Harris and John Warkinton, Canada 
Before Confederation: A Study of Historical Geography (New York: Ox- 
ford University Press, 1974), p. 304; see also M. Macdonald, "History 
of New Westminster, 1861-1871" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, Univer- 
sity of British Columbia, 1947). 

33. Harris and Warkinton, Ibid., p. 304; Trimble, Ibid., pp. 54-5. 

34. Macfie, Ibid., p. 230. 

35. Dale L. Pitt, "What Mining Has Done for British Columbia," 
Washington Historical Quarterly, XXIII (April, 1932), p. 100; F. W. 
Howay, W. N. Sage, H. F. Angus, British Columbia and the United 
States (Toronto:Ryerson Press, 1942), p. 625; Oscar Osburn Winther, 
"Pack Animals for Transportation in the Pacific Northwest," Pacific 
Northwest Quarterly, XXXIV (July, 1943), p. 136; Old Oregon Country 
. . ., p. 193; Trimble, op. cit., pp. 58, 126-27. 

36. James W. Watt, "Experiences of a Packer in Washington Territory 
Mining Camps During the Sixties," Washington Historical Quarterly, 
XX (January, 1920), pp. 38-39. 

37. Rocky Mountain News, May 4, 1859; April 25, I860; October 3, I860; 
October 4, 1860; October 11, 1860; Desert News, September 5, 1860; 
Nebraska City News, November 3, 1860; "Commerce of the Prairies 
. . .," p. 31. 

38. Rocky Mountain News, January 25, I860; "Commerce of tin' Prairies 
. . .," p. 26. Many Midwestern towns participated in the Colorado 

trade; the Rocky Mountain News, June 21, 1863 alone lists some six- 
teen points that supplied Denver. 

39. "Commerce of the Prairies . . .," p. 24. 

40. Ibid., p. 26; Rocky Mountain News, May 23, 1860; December 11, 1862; 
December 25, 1862; Nebraska City News, May 11, 1861. In 1859, out- 
fitting proved more important than freighting for Atchison. Dur- 
ing 1859 just over 2,000 tons of freight left Atchison, but not a tenth 
of it for the Colorado mines. The season of 1860, however, brought 
a great increase in the amount of freight carried to Colorado. Of the 
over 4,000 tons of freight shipped from Atchison, about two-thirds 
went to Colorado. That year, Atchison apparently ranked second 
or third in the Denver trade. By 1865, Atchison assumed the role 
of major supply point for Colorado. Peter Beckman, "The Overland 
Trade and Atchison's Beginnings," Territorial Kansas, University of 
Kansas Publication Social Science Studies (1954) pp. 153-54; Walker 
D. Wyman, "Atchison, A Great Frontier Depot," Kansas Historical 
Quarterly, XI (August, 1942), pp. 299-300, 304-5, 307. 

41. Rocky Mountain News, February 11, 1861. 

42. Winther, "Pack Animal Transportation . . ." pp. 139-49; The Old 
Oregon Country . . .," p. 197; Bancroft, History of Washington, Idaho, 
and Montana . . .," p. 243; Donald W. Meining, The Great Columbia 
Plain, 1805-1910 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1968), pp. 
211-12; See also John E. Parsons, "Steamboats in the Idaho Gold 
Rush," Montana, the Magazine of Western Histon/, X (January, 1960), 
pp. 51-61. 

43. Washington Statesman, December 20, 1861; Idaho World, April 29, 1867; 
Scott, pp. 153-54. 

44. August C. Bolino, "The Role of Mining in the Economic Develop- 
ment of the Idaho Territory," Oregon Historical Quarterly, LIX (June, 
1958), p. 150; Meining, op. at., p. 215. 

45. Meining, op. at., p. 215. The Dalles along with Ellensbrug, 
Washington served the major placers (Peshastin, Cle Elum, and 
Swauk) of eastern Washington. Walla Walla became a major 
distributing point for northeastern Washington. Spokane, too, served 
the Colville mines and eventually replaced Walla Walla in impor- 
tance. The real development of Spokane as a supply point came with 
the arrival of the railroad and the growth of lode mining in the Couer 
D'Alene, Colville, Okanogan and Kootenay. Warren Wilson Tozer, 
"The History of Gold Mining in the Swauk, Peshastin, and Cle Elum 
Mining Districts of the Wenatchee Mountains, 1853-1899" (un- 
published M.A. Thesis, Washington State University, 1965), pp. 29, 
38, 40; Otis W. Freeman, "Early Wagon Roads in the Inland Em- 
pire," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, XLV (October, 1954), pp. 12b. 128: 
Kensel, op. cit., pp. 84-97. 

46. James W. Watt, "Experiences of a Packer in Washington Territory 
Mining Camps During the Sixties," Washington Historical Quarterly, 
XIV (July, 1928), p. 286; Oregon Statesman, June 18, 1866. 

47. Walla Walla Statesman, October 19, 1866. 

48. Watt, Ibid., p. 38. 

49. Winther, The Old Oregon Country . . ., pp. 216-17; Owyhee Avalanche, 
April 7, 1866; November 17, 1866; see also Clarence F. Mcintosh, 
"The Chico and Red Bluffs Route," Idaho Yesterdays, (Fall, 1962). pp. 

50. Winther, The Old Oregon County . . ., p. 217. 

5 1 . Ibid., p. 218; Merle W. Wells, "Gold Camps and Silver Cities, ' ' Idaho 
Bureau of Mines and Geology, Bulletin 22, 1963. p. 8: Owyhee Ava- 
lanche, September 2, 1865. 

52. Beckman, op. cit., p. 156; Wyman, 'Atchison, A Frontier Depot 
. . .," p. 307. 

53. Belino. Ibid., p. L19. 

54. Oregon Statesman, September 28, 1863. 

55. Owyhee Avalanche. September 2 L865 

56. Throckmorton, Ibid., p. 262. 

57. Owyhee Avalanche April 7, L866. 

58. Idaho World, fune l| L866. 


59. F. W. Warner, Montana Territory History and Business Directory 1879 
(Helena: Fisk Brothers Printers and Binders, 1879), p. 208. 

60. An excellent work that examines this competition is Alton B. Oviatt, 
"Pacific Coast Competition for the Gold Camp Trade of Montana," 
in The Montana Past—An Anthology, ed. by Michael P. Malone and 
Richard B. Roeder (Missoula: University of Montana Press, 1969). 

61. On the Mullan Road see Helen Winifred Milgrad, "The Mullan Road: 
The Northern Highway of the Pacific Northwest" (unpublished M.A. 
Thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 1931); Richard W. Ulrich, 
"The Mullan Road: Its Story and Importance to the Inland Empire" 
(unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Oregon, 1951); Henry L. 
Tarkington, "Mullan Road," Washington Historical Quarterly, VII 
(1916), pp. 301-06; Alexander C. McGregor, "The Economic Impact 
of the Mullan Road on Walla Walla, 1860-1883," Pacific Northwest 
Quarterly, LXV (July, 1974), pp. 118-129; and T. C. Elliott, "The 
Mullan Road: Its Local History and Significance," The Washington 
Historical Quarterly, XIV (July, 1923), pp. 206-09. 

62. F. H. Woody, "A Sketch of the Early History of Western Montana," 
Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana, II (1896), p. 103; 
Oviatt, "Pacific Coast Competition for the Gold Camp Trade of Mon- 
tana . . .," pp. 99-100. 

63. Alton B. Oviatt, "Steamboat Traffic on the Upper Missouri River, 
1859-1869," Pacific Northwest Quarterly, XL (April, 1949), p. 102; 
Thomas J. Myhra, "The Economic Influence of Steamboats on Early 
Bismarck," North Dakota History, XXVIII (1961), p. 61. 

64. On Ft. Benton see Asa A. Wood, "Fort Benton's Part in the Develop- 
ment of the West," Washington Historical Quarterly, XX (July, 1929), 
pp. 213-222 and Jay Mack Gamble, "Up River to Benton," Montana 
Magazine of Western History, VI (April, 1956), pp. 32-44. A number 
of settlements including Ophir, Kerchival City, Musselshell, and Car- 
roll founded as rivals to Ft. Benton failed. Oviatt, "Steamboat Traffic 
on the Upper Missouri River, 1859-1869 . . .," pp. 99-101. 

65. Bancroft, History of Washington, Idaho, and Montana 1845-1889 . 
pp. 730-31; Oviatt, "Steamboat Traffic on the Upper Missouri River, 
1859-1869 . . .," p. 94; William E. Lass, "Steamboating on the 
Northern Great Plains," Journal of the West, VI (January, 1967), pp. 

66. "Report of the Secretary of the Treasury," 38th Cong., 1st Sess., 
Sen. Ex. Doc. no. 55, serial 1176 (Washington: Government Printing 
Office, 1863), pp. 211-12; "Report of the Secretary of War Pt. II," 
40th Cong. 3rd Sess., House Ex. Doc. no. 1 pt. II, serial 1368 
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1869), p. 635. 

67. Henry Pickering Walker, The Wagonmasters (Norman: University of 
Oklahoma Press, 1966), p. 58. 

68. Lass, Ibid., p. 56. 

69. J. M. Guinn, History of the State of California (Chicago: Chapman 
Publishing, 1904), p. 215; Frank Rolfes, "Early Day Los Angeles: 
A Great Wagon Train Center," Historical Society of Southern Califor- 
nia Quarterly, (December, 1953), pp. 311-13. 

70. Boise Neivs, November 26, 1863; Rocky Mountain News, April 30, 1863; 
September 17, 1863. 

71. Albert D. Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi (Hartford, Conn.: 
American Publishing Co., 1867), p. 482. 

72. "Steamboat Arrivals at Fort Benton, Montana and Vicinity," 
Historical Society of Montana Contributions, I (1876), pp. 317-25; Walla 
Walla Statesman, September 29, 1865; Idaho World, November 18, 1865. 

73. Lass, Ibid., pp. 56-8; Montana Post, November 10, 1866; see also Rocky 
Mountain Gazzette, October 20, 1866. 

74. Montana Post, May 5, 1866; Winther, The Old Oregon Country . . ., 
p. 223. 

75. Myhra, Ibid., p. 61. 

76. Briggs, Frontiers of the Northwest . . ., p. 57; Lass, op. cit., p. 58. 

77. Montana Post, May 9, 1866. 

78. Oviatt, "Steamboat Traffic on the Upper Missouri River, 1859-1869 
. . .," p. 96. 














"A Glimpse of Montana . . .," p. 383. 

Jesse Harold Jamison, "Corrine: A Study of a Freight Transfer Point 
in the Montana Trade 1860-1878" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, Univer- 
sity of Utah, 1951), p. 80. 

Besides Jamison, for studies of Corrine, see: L. Kay Edrington, "A 
Study of Early Utah-Montana Trade, Transportation, and Com- 
munication 1846-1881" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, Brigham Young 
University, 1959); Brigham D. and Betty M. Madsen, "Corrine, The 
Fair: Gateway to Montana Mines," Utah Historical Quarterly, XXXVII 
(Winter, 1967), pp. 102-23. 

Helena Herald, August 13, 1874; Benton Record, June 1, 1875 noted 
in Oviatt, "Steamboat Traffic on the Upper Missouri River, 1859-1869 
. . .," pp. 104-05. 

Jamison, Ibid., p. 29; Myhra, Ibid., pp. 61-2. 
Jamison, Ibid., p. 29; Madsen, Ibid., p. 122. 
Madsen, Ibid., p. 123; Jamison, Ibid., p. 47. 
Myhra, Ibid., p. 66. 

S. J. Coon, "Influence of the Gold Camps on the Economic Develop- 
ment of Western Montana," journal of Political Economy, XXXVIII (Oc- 
tober, 1930), pp. 548, 448-59; Woody, op. at., p. 103. On Missoula 
and the mining trade see also: Shirley Jay Coon, "The Economic 
Development of Missoula, Montana" (unpublished Ph.D. Disser- 
tation, University of Chicago, 1926). 

"A Glimpse of Montana . . .," p. 383; J. Ross Browne, Resources 
of the Pacific Slope (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1869), p. 510. 
Lass, Ibid., p. 64. 

Bismarck Weekly Tribune, November 22, 1876. Bismarck remained the 
most important terminal for the freight into the Hills until 1880 when 
Pierre became more important— an importance it retained until 1885. 
Briggs, "Early Freight and Stage Lines in Dakota . . .," p. 247. 
Lass, Ibid., p. 64. 

Watson Parker, "The Black Hills Gold Rush, 1874-1879" (unpub- 
lished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Oklahoma, 1965), pp. 66-7. 
Until the late summer of 1876 wagon trains carried goods directly 
to the Hills from Sioux City. In August of that year, however, the 
practice of transporting goods up river to Ft. Pierre then overland 
to the Hills began. Eric M. Eriksson, "Sioux City and the Black Hills 
Gold Rush, 1874-1877," Iowa Journal of History, XX (July, 1922), p. 

Lass, Ibid., pp. 64-6. 

Parker, op. cit., p. 151; Lass, op. cit., pp. 64-6; Myrlin M. Feller, 
"Sioux City: A Center of Transportation 1850-1880" (unpublished 
M.A. Thesis, State University of Iowa, 1936), p. 65. 
Dakota Herald, June 9, 1877; Black Hills Journal, September 14, 1878. 
Black Hills Daily Times, January 2, 1878; Briggs, "The Black Hills Gold 
Rush . . .," pp. 96-7. 

G. Thomas Ingham, Digging Gold Among the Rockies (Philadelphia: 
Hubbard Bros. Publishers, 1888), p. 184. 

Weekly Arizona Miner, February 18, 1871; Sylvester Mowry, Arizona 
and Sonora: The Geography, History, and Resources of the Silver Region 
of North America (New York: Harpers and Bros., 1864), p. 88; D. K. 
Allen, "The Colorado River," Arizona Magazine, II (August, 1893), 
p. 63: Robert L. Swor, "The Development of Prescott" (unpublished 
M.A. Thesis, Arizona State University, 1952), p. 59: Francis Hale 
Leavitt, "Steam Navigation on the Colorado River, the Peak, of the 
Colorado River Trade," California Historical Quarterly, XXII (June, 
1943), pp. 154-55, 157. Up to 1856, trade was confined entirely to 
Fort Yuma; in fact prior to 1864 Yuma was the only river point of 
importance. The Colorado retained its importance as a supply line 
for the Arizona mines until the completion of the Southern Pacific 
to Yuma in 1877 when river trade abruptly ceased. Leavitt, pp. 151, 
162; "Steam Navigation on the Colorado River, Experimentation 
and Development, 1850-1864," California Historical Society Quarterly, 
XXII (March, 1941), p. 8. 
Rolf, Ibid., pp. 314-15. 


101. Moore, Ibid., p. 52. 

102. Morning Oregonian, May 16, 1865; Paul Gilman Merriam, "Portland, 
Oregon, 1840-1890: A Social and Economic History" (unpublished 
Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Oregon, 1971) gives a rather brief 
account of the role of Portland as an outfitting and supply point, 
based largely on secondary sources, that does not adequately show 
the importance of mining to the development of Portland. 

103. Gower, Ibid., p. 242. 

104. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines of California . . .," p. 433. 

105. Otis W. Freeman, "Eirly Wagon Roads in the Inland Empire," Pacific 
Northwest Quarterly, XLV (October, 1954), pp. 126, 130; Watt, op. 
cit., p. 291; George R. Stewart, The California Trail (New York: 
McGraw-Hill, 1962), p. 23; Scott, op. cit., pp. 157-58; Winther, The 
Old Oregon Country . . ., pp. 216-17, 219-20; Jamison, op. cit., pp. 
23, 31-7; Katherine Coman, Economic Beginnings of the Tar West, Vol. 
II (New York: McMillan Company, 1912), p. 202. 

106. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
no pagination. 

107. Dorothy Jeanette Dyke, "Transportation in the Sacramento Valley, 
1840-1860" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of California, 
Berkeley, 1932). 

108. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
no pagination. 

109. Jerry MacMullen, Paddle-Wheel Days in California (Palo Alto: Stan- 
ford University Press, 1944), pp. 17-18. 

110. Guinn, Ibid., p. 216. 

111. Dyke, Ibid., p. 37, Guinn, Ibid., p. 21b. 

112. See Winther, "The Express and Stagecoach Business in California, 
1848-60," (unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Stanford University, 

113. William Robert Kenney, "History of the Sonora Mining Region of 
California 1848-1860" (unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University 
of California, Berkeley, 1955), pp. 79-80. 

114. Judith Ellen Johnston, "Transportation and Communication in 
California 1848-1860" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, Stanford Univer- 
sity, 1929), pp. 108-09, 217. 

115. See also Carla Elizabeth Neuhaus, "Transportation to Colorado 
1858-1869" (unpublished M.A. Thesis, University of Colorado, 1928); 
Clifford C. Hill, "Wagon Roads in Colorado, 1858-1876" (unpub- 
lished M.A. Thesis, University of Colorado, 1950). 

116. Arthur Ridgeway, "The Mission of Colorado Toll Roads," Colorado 
Magazine, IX (September, 1932), p. 162. 

117. Hubert H. Bancroft, History of Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming 
1540-1880 (San Francisco: The History Company, 1890), p. 20. 

118. Wilbur F. Stone, History of Colorado Volume I (Chicago: Clarke 
Publishing, 1918), pp. 574-76. 

119. C. M. Clark, A Trip to Pike's Peak and Notes by the Way (Chicago: S. 
P. Round, 1861, reprinted San Jose, Calif.: Talisman Press, 1958), 
p. 76. 

120. Ridgeway, Ibid., pp. 163-64. 

121. Ibid., pp. 164-67. 

122. Pitt, Ibid., pp. 99-100; Jamison, Ibid., p. 21, 34-37, 52; McGowan, 
"Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," pp. 215, 
235, 237, 244-245, 363, 375, 377, 379-80, 386, 390, 395, 399, 401, 411, 
414, 416. 

123. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
no pagination. 

124. Richard Malcolm MacKinnon, "The Historical Geography of Set- 
tlement in the Foothills of Tuolumne County, California" (unpub- 
lished M.A. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 1967), p. 107. 

125. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1850 . . .," 
p. 432. 

126. Frank Kimball Scott, "Visible Relics of Past Land Use in the Mother 
Lode Area, California" (unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University 
of California, Los Angeles, 1970), p. 274. 

127. Mildred Brooks Hoover, Hero Eugene Rensch, Ethel Grace Rensch, 
Historic Spots in California (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1966), 
p. 75. 

128. McGowan, "Freighting to the Mines in California, 1849-1859 . . .," 
pp. 425, 433. 

129. The classic discussion of this idea is Charles Horton Cooley, "A 
Theory of Transportation," Publication of the American Economic 
Association, IX (May, 1984), pp. 1-148. 



Arapahoe Politics, 1851-1978. By Loretta Fowler (Lincoln: University of 
Nebraska Press, 1982) Index, Bib. 299 pages. $26.50. 

Arapahoe Politics is certainly one of the finest 
ethnohistorical works to be completed to date. Loretta 
Fowler does not fall prey to the usual inadequacies found 
in a study of this type. She provides the reader with a 
detailed time line and intensively examines individual 
Native American responses to build her case that Arapahoe 
political history is extraordinarily different from Plains 
tribal politics in general. 

Ms. Fowler combines anthropological field work and 
ethnohistorical research to provide the reader with a cul- 
tural as well as historical framework for understanding the 
evolution of Arapahoe politics. Unlike other tribes, she 
points out that the Arapahoe have readily accepted the 
electoral process and that their elected business council is 
fully accepted as the legitimate tribal government. The 
Arapahoe's success in incorporating new criteria for the 
establishment of authority is a primary concern of the text. 

Ms. Fowler begins her study with the 1851 Fort Lara- 
mie Council meetings and delineates, through time, the 
structural changes which occurred in Arapahoe society. 
These changes, she notes, were always handled within the 
traditional context of tribal elders. The elders, contrary to 
popular opinion, were not responsible for a lack of cultural 
adaptation. Instead, through alterations in religious rituals, 
the elders played a critical role in directing the processes 
of culture change. 

Arapahoe Politics is not founded in an assimilationist 
paradigm of acculturation. The book notes and analyzes 
the enduring consistency of Arapahoe values and examines 
the innovative strategies utilized by the tribe to retain a 
continuity with their past while legitimizing new modes of 
secular authority. 


Ms. Fowler's contention that adaptation to contact with 
whites may have "varied according to the presence or 
absence of an age-grade tradition" (p. 299) remains to be 
proven. However, her book does establish that this system 
played a central role in the directing of cultural changes 
within Arapahoe society. The subject is worthy of further 

One of the few drawbacks to this study is the index. 
For instance, if the reader is interested in the critical role 
of disease in the development of Arapahoe politics, the 
index is of little help. There are no entries under "disease," 
"smallpox," "cholera," or "measles," yet the text does 
address this issue, principally on pages 35 and 44. 

Despite this minor flaw, Arapahoe Politics, 1851-1978 is 
a thorough study; Loretta Fowler has made a valuable con- 
tribution to our understanding of Arapahoe acculturation. 

Ms. Gear is with the Casper office of the Bureau of Land Management. 

Our Mark Twain, The Making of His Public Personality. By Louis J. Budd. 
(University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, 1983) Bibl. Index. 266 
pp. $21.95. 

"We passed Fort Laramie in the night, and on the 
seventh morning out we found ourselves in the Black Hills 
with Laramie Peak at our elbow (apparently) looming vast 
and solitary— a deep, dark, rich indigo blue in hue, so 
portentiously did the old colosus frown under his beetling 
brows of stormcloud." Mark Twain, Roughing It. 

Samuel G. Clemens passed this way by stagecoach 
heading for the Nevada goldfields, and fame, as Mark 

As an author, critic, humanist, orator, political satirist, 
his books became classics. A doctorate was conferred on 
him by Oxford and a crater on Mercury bears his name 
yet he claimed only to be a journalist. 

Writing under a grant from the National Endowment 
for the Humanities, author Louis J. Budd shares the secrets 
of Twain's phenomenal rise as a public personality. The 
story is gleaned from the great collections of the Mark 
Twain papers, in this country and abroad. 

Quoting Carl Van Doren, "He created many charac- 
ters, but none of them was greater than himself." Twain 
became one of the earliest public relations men on his own 
behalf and later for personal viewpoints, national policy 
and worthy causes. 

Author Budd noted that his birth coincided with the 
appearance of the "Penny Press." At a time when multi- 
tudes of immigrants were coming to our shores, the penny 
press was their mentor about American life. To these new 
residents, Twain represented the rags to riches potential 
of America. 

Before the electronic media, the lecture circuit provided 
culture to the millions. Mark Twain exploited it, develop- 
ing a deadpan delivery of his humor and satire. He made 
irreverence his trademark and enraged churchmen with 
his criticism of missionaries softening up the natives to 
make easier the plunder. He became a statesman without 
salary, promoting human rights, attacking imperialism and 
colonialism. Yet he was honored by kings, a pope and an 
emperor as the typical American character. Ordinary folks 
claimed him as "our Mark Twain." 

The success of Innocents Abroad made him rich but 
when his publishing business failed he kept his promise 
to pay off his debts. His fellow journalists praised him with, 
"he was one of the boys." He declared that journalism was 
the best school to learn about human nature. He had been 
one of the earliest reporters to be sent out to actually find 
the news. Said the Philadelphia Press, "he was a product 
of the American newspaper." 

Probably pound for pound more has been written in 
adulation, criticism and Freudian analysis of Mark Twain 
than the millions of words he, himself, produced. The 
author details and sums up the Twain mystique that 
evokes this response to Twain the man, the showman, the 

The book is generously illustrated with the best of the 
cartoons about Mark Twain throughout his career. These 
cartoons contributed greatly to the making of Twain's 
public personality. Near the end of his life, one shows 
Twain solving the housing shortage by moving into the 
Hall of Fame. 

Our Mark Twain made this reviewer start all over, re- 
reading Mark Twain, beginning with Roughing It. 

The reviewer is the author of Cheyenne, Cheyenne Our Blue Collar I leritage. 

The Indian Man: A Biography of James Mooney. By L. G. Moses. (Ur- 
bana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1984.) Index. Bib. Ulus. 
293 pp. $24.95. 

James Mooney— "The Indian Man"— (1861-1921) was 
among that first generation of self-trained Smithsonian 
ethnologists who examined, recorded and analyzed Native 
American cultures under the direction of John Wesley 
Powell. The distinctive title, although never a lasting 
cognomen, was the fancy, of a journalist who interviewed 
Mooney at the 1893 Columbian Exposition to describe the 
ethnologist's vast knowledge of Cherokee, Kiowa and 
Cheyenne cultures. This book resurrects the long forgot- 
ten title as well as the compelling life of a fascinating man 
who lived among Indians and came to advocate, even to 
promote, the right of Native Americans to practice the 
Ghost Dance religion and the ceremonial use of peyote. 

L. G. Moses, who teaches history at Northern Arizona 
University, argues in this first published biography of 
James Mooney that scholars largely have ignored not only 
the ethnologist's distinctive contributions to Indian history 
but also his active participation in the development of 
American anthropology. He does not claim that Mooney 
significantly shaped the science of mankind to the extent 
that Franz Boas or Frederick Ward Putman did but insists 
he was an important figure, though not extraordinary, for 
during Mooney's thirty-six year career with the Bureau of 
American Ethnology, he wrote less than his colleagues, 
largely accepted the goal of Indian assimilation, and had 
relatively little influence on the institutions of an- 
thropology. Nevertheless, Moses maintains that Mooney's 
classic studies of Indian societies, the Ghost Dance and 
peyote religions, and constant advice against completely 
wrenching Indians from their cultures are reasons enough 
for examining "The Indian Man's" life. 

Born in Indiana to poor Irish-immigrant parents, 
Mooney had a childhood fascination with Indians that 
developed into a serious study. After a public school educa- 
tion and a brief stint as a teacher and printer, he landed 
a position with the Bureau of Ethnology in 1885. Con- 
ducting his initial field work among the Eastern Cherokees, 
he recorded and translated hundreds of sacred tribal 
myths, but his truly ground-breaking research was done 
among the Plains tribes. There he gathered extensive data 
on the Ghost Dance and was the first ethnologist to inter- 
view Wovoka, the spiritual leader of the religion. 

Early on, he also compiled a classic tribal history of the 
Kiowas utilizing heraldry symbols as revealed on shields, 
tipis, and tribal calendars as well as non-Indian sources, 
thus adding a new dimension to writing Indian history. 
By 1900 Mooney was recognized as an eminent self-trained 
ethnologist. But he, like so many scientists who achieve 
prominence early in life, could never match the genius oi 
his original works. 


Mooney's later years were scarred with bitter con- 
troversy, largely because of changes at the Bureau, in the 
science of anthropology and in Mooney himself. New di- 
rectors at the Smithsonian and the Bureau shifted their em- 
phasis to more practical applications, specifically how 
ethnology might assist in "civilizing" Indians. Mooney ac- 
cepted the change but violently protested government of- 
ficials and Indian reformers intent on destroying every 
aspect of Native American life. 

Despite believing that Indians ought to be assimilated, 
he saw virtue in many aspects of Indian culture. He spoke 
out so vigorously against the allotment program, Indian 
boarding schools and restrictions placed on Indian cere- 
monies, specifically the Ghost Dance and peyote religions, 
that government officials banned him from doing field 
research on reservations. Further, he was caught in a tran- 
sition. Even though his work exemplified the new an- 
thropological theory— that mankind represented diversity 
rather than single historical unity— anthropology was be- 
coming more the realm of the university-trained than the 
self-trained. Mooney had come to empathize with the 
plight of Indians fearing that undisclosed aspects of Native 
cultures would forever be lost for generations to appreciate. 
Moses poignantly concludes, "In the end, like the Indians 
he studied, he became something of an exile in his own 
land." (p. 219) 

Moses has done a meticulous job of researching and 
piecing together Mooney's life, especially given that "The 
Indian Man" left behind virtually nothing that reveals his 
personal life. Yet the biography, a revision of Moses' Ph.D. 
dissertation, has several disturbing points. No doubt 
Mooney made distinctive and lasting contributions, but the 
extent to which he actively participated in the development 
of anthropology remains questionable. Mooney, in a sense, 
was no more than a transitional figure in an internally 
changing science. Perhaps more distressing, Moses never 
grapples with how Mooney, clearly an intelligent man, 
reconciled his assimilation attitudes with criticisms of 
government policies. Unfortunately, disjointed prose, fee- 
ble editing and poorly reproduced photographs add to the 

Criticisms notwithstanding, this is a worthy contribu- 
tion to Indian history and the history of anthropology; 
anyone interested in either will want to consult it. 

The reviewer has done graduate work at the University of Wyoming Department 
of History. 

Wyoming in Profile. By Jean Mead. (Boulder, Colorado: Pruett Publishing 
Company, 1982.) Illus. Bib. 323 pp. $16.95, Cloth. $7.95, Paper. 

Writing about real people is by no means an easy task. 
This is especially true when choosing from literally 
thousands of people who have established themselves 
within the confines of a particular state. 


Wyoming in Profile is a tribute to some of Wyoming's 
better-known and some not-so-known citizenry. Mead 
selected an excellent cross-sampling of these unique in- 
dividuals who people the "Equality State." Through in- 
cessant interviewing of these colorful characters the writer 
furnishes valuable insight to what Wyoming is. From these 
selected persons, the history of Wyoming can be felt. Wyo- 
ming is more than a state of physical presences. It is a state 
of mind. 

From cowboys to politicians, from artists and poets to 
radio show hosts and educators Wyoming in Profile allows 
the reader to discover the rich variety of the state. 

A common bond unites these unique men and women 
of Wyoming. Mead shows that they are all just plain down- 
to-earth people. Yet, Wyoming in Profile shows how each 
contributes in his or her own way to the overall character 
of Wyoming. 

Few men or women are more knowledgable in the 
history of Wyoming than T.A. "Al" Larson. For nearly 
four decades, Larson has instilled Wyoming's colorful past 
in thousands of students attending the University of 
Wyoming. Like others profiled in Mead's book, Larson 
grew up believing in the addage of "working hard and get- 
ting ahead." 

Lucille Wright is one of the few people around to have 
been close friends with aviatrix Amelia Earhart. According 
to Lucille, "she was warm and friendly, perfectly charm- 
ing. One of the most charming girls you'd ever want to 
meet and dedicated to aviation." The town of Cody, 
Wyoming is the home of Lucille Wright, who has also 
dedicated her life to aviation. She has worked many long 
years improving the quality and standards of this field. 

Mead profiles Governor Ed Herschler as that Wyoming- 
type who has roots deeply entrenched in the state. He 
relates, "people know me for what I am." Herschler 
thoroughly enjoys his position of governor. Even though 
he states, "You get awfully discouraged sometimes when 
you feel that you've done something well and would like 
the public to say 'Governor, you did a fine job.' They're 
not going to say that, but you do get some inner satisfac- 
tion. There's a lot of things you can take some pride in, 
particularly helping individuals with problems. Sometimes 
you find an agency head or some department of state that's 
able to help them and that makes you feel good. That's 
the best part of being governor." 

In all, 48 men and women are discussed for what they 
truly are in Wyoming in Profile. They are shown as hard 
working, diligent and above all, interested in the overall 
well-being of Wyoming. Mead has chosen a very fine sam- 
pling of these people and profiles them in a most enjoyable 

Grace is a free lance researcher whose current interests include the oil field ghost 
town of Lavoye. 

Historians and the American West. Edited by Michael P. Malone. (Lincoln: 
University of Nebraska Press, 1983.) Index. 449 pp. $24.95. 

This book-length assessment of historical writing 
surveys the entire Western history field. Eighteen Western 
historians have contributed to this annotated guide that 
is meant "to provide a better understanding of what 
several generations of Western historians have accom- 
plished and failed to accomplish, and of the legacy and 
tasks they have left to this and to future generations." In 
short, they have appraised the state of the art. 

Each chapter in the book deals with a specific topic of 
Western history. American Indians, Fur Trade and Explora- 
tion, Mining, Manifest Destiny, Women in the West, 
Transportation and Western Spanish Borderlands are 
among the variety of chapter headings. Each section gives 
valuable bibliographical listings and evaluates each as to 
its importance in contributing to Western history. 

In the fore ward, Rodman W. Paul tells us that this 
book gives us time to "pause and take stock." He goes 
on to say that this volume should "stimulate a lot of over- 
due soul searching." Editor Malone feels that Western 
historians have been "noticeably slow in taking up the 
newer methodologies that became popular during the 

Historians of the American West not only looks critically 
at what has been accomplished in the field of Western his- 
tory, but also tells the reader what is sadly lacking. It is 
an invaluable aid to the historian whether he or she be 
writing a paper, thesis, dissertation or just reading history 
for its own sake. 

Frederick Jackson Turner is heavily criticized in this 
volume for failing to deal with several aspects of Western 
history. Bradford Luckingham brings to light his failure to 
deal with western urban history and Sandra Myres criti- 
cizes Turner's masculine West. Kenneth Owens notes the 
lack of attention to frontier politics while Clark Spence 
writes of Turner's neglect of mining history. However, the 
book does not fail to give credit where credit is due. That 
Turner's work and contributions to Western history is in- 
valuable, has never been disputed. The Turner tradition 
lives on though sometimes modified, refined and looked 
at in a more credible context. Ray Allen Billington certainly 
stands at the top of this list of neo-Turnerians. 

Editor Malone states that one sadly neglected area of 
Western history is that of the twentieth-century west. He 
believes that most historians feel more comfortable with 
the pre-1900s. In agreement with Malone, Rodman Paul 
fears that "in our own century western history blends into 
national history to such a degree as to lose its identity. But 
if specialists in the history of the West do not take on the 
job, then national historians will, and developments in the 
West will be reduced to local illustrations of national 

Historians of the American West will be a tremendous 

asset to the "overworked" reader in that it tells what is 
most important and what is secondary among the many 
thousands of offerings available to those interested in 
Western history. As Michael Malone states in his introduc- 
tion, the "aim here is to decide what has been done, how 
well it has been done, and what needs to be done." This 
long over-due volume will prove its worth many times 

The reviewer is Research and Oral History Supervisor for the Archives, Museums 
& Historical Department. 

The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians. 
By Paul Francis Prucha. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984.) 
Appendix. Bib. Maps. 1208 pp. in 2 volumes. Cloth, $60.00. 

Father Paul Francis Prucha is the acknowledged expert 
on Indian-United States relations. His latest work, The 
Great Father: The United States Government and the American 
Indians is an attempt to bring together in one work the en- 
tire history of the government's relations with the Indians. 
Prucha' s two-volume opus is every bit as detailed as it is 
comprehensive. Covering the period from the colonial era 
to 1980, Prucha's work is a narrative that lacks a central 
theme but nevertheless presents the history of America's 
relations with the Indians in an entertaining manner. 

The Great Father is especially useful in following the 
twisted course of American legislation and cour* decisions 
regarding Native Americans. In discussing court cases, the 
author might have provided more material on their back- 
grounds and the importance of these judicial decisions, but 
these are frequently obscure in themselves and, in many 
cases, further discussion would do little to clarify the issues 

A major flaw in this work is its orientation toward the 
actions of Indian agents, reformers, and officials of the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs. His analysis of policy and policy- 
makers is very astute and he presents an excellent picture 
of government at work. However, the Indians themselves, 
who were the focal point of the government's Indian 
policy, are figures of lesser importance to the author. In 
light of the vast amount of recent research on the Indians' 
participation in policy-formulation, this is an unfortunate 

The author's bibliographic essay is very useful, as are 
the many maps. The immensity of Prucha's work is one 
of the work's major flaws, since The Great Father is too 
lengthy for anyone but scholars to find useful and too ex- 
pensive for any buyers but libraries. Nevertheless, The 
Great Father will remain an important reference source for 
a long time. 



Kinsmen of Another Kind: Dakota-White Relations in the Upper Mississippi 
Valley, 1650-1862. By Gary C. Anderson. (Lincoln: University of Ne- 
braska Press, 1984.) Notes, Bib., Index. 280 pp. Cloth, $25.00. 

Gary C. Anderson's work is an attempt to explain the 
1862 Sioux uprising in Minnesota in light of the world view 
of the Indians themselves. Anderson's thesis is that the 
Indians embraced Europeans as kinsmen in an effort to fit 
these strangers into their social universe. As kinsmen, 
these whites were expected to provide gifts to their Indian 
relatives and protect the tribal interest like any other 
member of society. Likewise, the Dakotas entered into a 
father-child relationship with Euro-American governments 
with the understanding that the white men who signed 
treaties with them would support their Indian "children" 
in the same way that a father protected his children in 
Dakota society. 

Anderson's thesis is not anything new. It can be ap- 
plied, in differing degrees, to most Indian tribes' dealings 
with whites. The success of Anderson's research is that 
he portrays in a clear manner the ways in which the 
Dakotas bound themselves to this relationship and, when 
they concluded that they had been betrayed, struck out 
at the whites who had seemingly misled them. 

Anderson describes the social system of the Sioux, 
placing special emphasis on their concept of kinship. He 
notes that white men who were adopted by the tribe and 
the Europeanized offspring of mixed marriages challenged 
the tribe's traditional leaders by demanding that land and 
sovereignty be surrendered for money. The uprising of 
1862 was the result of the conflict within Dakota society 
between those who counseled assimilation and those who 
defended traditional values and expected American of- 
ficials to live up to their social obligations that the Sioux 
had created for them. American authorities, while accept- 
ing the terminology of the father-child relationship, never 
comprehended its implications. 

Kinsmen of Another Kind is well-written, contains an ex- 
cellent bibliography, and is lavishly footnoted. It is worth 
serious consideration by both scholars and non-specialists 
in Frontier and American Indian History. 


The Hidden Half: Studies of Plains Indian Women. By Patricia Albers and 
Beatrice Medicine. (New York: University Press of America, 1983.) 
References. 286 pp. Cloth, $25.50. 

The Hidden Half: Studies of Plains Indian Women is a col- 
lection of articles on the role of females in Plains Indian 
society. Like most anthologies, the quality of scholarship 
and literary craftsmanship is uneven. All of the articles suf- 
fer from a lack of space that prohibits ample development 
of the authors' topics. 


The best article is this anthology is Katherine Weist's 
study of European biases in describing Indian sex roles, 
neatly titled "Beasts of Burden and Menial Slaves: Nine- 
teenth Century Observations of Northern Plains Indian 
Women." Weist points out that white observers invariably 
described Indian women as chattel who were bought and 
sold and whose lives were unrelieved drudgery high- 
lighted by ill-treatment at the hands of their tribes' men. 
These observers, whose cultural biases demanded that 
women be pure, protected creatures, were horrified by the 
lack of chivalry on the frontier. 

Weist's research indicates that these observers mis- 
understood the nature of gift exchange in marriage and 
were unaware that Native American women possessed 
greater authority in their societies than white women could 

By comparison, Beatrice Medicine's article, "Warrior 
Women— Sex Role Alternatives for Plains Indian Women," 
is an ethnological analysis of the place of women in sex 
roles traditionally reserved for men. The author fails to in- 
clude enough historical information to lift her article above 
the theoretical level, and is guilty of factual errors in claim- 
ing that no warrior women existed among the Teton Sioux 
despite first-hand accounts of such women. 

Between these two extremes the other articles present 
a variety of topics with varying degrees of proficiency. All 
of the authors provide a useful bibliography for their 
works. While The Hidden Half will be useful to scholars in 
both Native American and Women's Studies, it will be of 
limited interest to the general public. 

Jodye Schilz is an instructor at Tarrant County Junior College, and her husband 
Thomas F. Schilz is a professor at Texas Christian University. 

So Far From Spring, by Peggy Simson Curry, (Boulder: Pruett Publishing 
Co. 1983) 344 pp. Cloth $16.95. Paper $9.95. 

So Far From Spring was originally published in 1956 by 
the Viking Press. This is just one of four novels that Mrs. 
Curry has written and she considers it her best work. In 
addition to her novels, she has also written several short 
stories and poems. 

The story is set in North Park along the Colorado- Wyo- 
ming border in the late 1890s. The main character is Kelsey 
Cameron, a young poor Scotsman who has "come west" 
to seek his fame and fortune in the new world. A man torn 
between his love for Scotland, his Scottish sweetheart Prim 
Munro and his ambition to be his own man, Cameron is 
responsible for himself in a country alien in every way. 

He arrives in North Park and immediately starts out 
for what he thinks is his cousin Tommy Cameron's ranch. 
According to letters received in Scotland, Tommy has done 
very well for himself in the area and Kelsey assumes that 
North Park is where his fortune awaits too. 

The starkness and desolation of the area does not help 
Kelsey's nervousness, and with his cousin not actually 
anticipating his arrival, he wonders about his reception. 
He reaches a ranch and although he is made welcome, 
Tommy had exaggerated somewhat. He is not the indepen- 
dent rancher that he said he was, but just a ranch manager 
for the real owner, Monte Maguire. All things are not quite 
right on the western front. 

Monte is not an ordinary ranch owner. She is a rough, 
tough hard talking woman, who it is rumored, had once 
resided in a cat house. But, with all her so-called faults, 
she is a fair boss and respected by her ranch hands. 

Kelsey is hired by Monte and he starts his new lifestyle 
with excitement and enthusiasm. The work is hard, and 
at times painstakingly slow, but he perseveres. He works 
unfalteringly and even during the harsh winters he slowly 
makes gains, even when the extreme coldness literally 
makes him sick to his stomach. 

Kelsey's thoughts remain with Prim, although he is 
hurt by her reluctance to join him in North Park. The 
young woman is pregnant, a fact he does not know until 
their daughter Heather is born. 

Kelsey saves his money and after several years, has 
enough to return to Scotland, marry Prim and bring back 
both a wife and daughter to his adopted homeland. 

However, during the absence of Prim, things change 
somewhat between Kelsey and Monte, but Kelsey basically 
being an honorable man, stays true to his first love. 

Life is even harder for all of them, particularly for Prim 
who has a very difficult time adjusting to the environment, 
the people and the culture shock of coming from a settled 
life in Scotland to the harsh unrelentless life of a ranch 
hand's wife. The years go by, and while Kelsey and 
Heather enjoy their adopted home, Prim still fights to 
maintain a lifestyle that is unsuitable for North Park. She 
makes herself and others miserable in the attempt. 

Life becomes even more difficult when Prim becomes 
pregnant again, and has a son Jediah. Jediah is sickly from 
birth and never really gains strength. He lives only a short 
few years. Again, Prim becomes pregnant, but unable to 
face an uncertain future with another child, she deliberately 
aborts the fetus. From then on Kelsey and Prim turn from 
each other. 

The time comes when the cattle have to be moved, and 
Prim decides to join Kelsey, Monte and ranch hands with 
the cattle drive. Not too long into the drive, they are tor- 
tured by an horrendous blizzard. Here Prim, Monte and 
Kelsey show that in a crisis all things change. By the end 
of the drive after fighting the adverse weather, treacherous 
terrain and the loss of half of their cattle, all but Kelsey's 
cousin Tommy survive. It is a final turning point in their 
lives and Kelsey and Prim once again find the essential ele- 
ment that keep all people together. Prim finally realizes 
that she really belongs in the West. 

This story gives insight into the hardships of people 
leaving their homeland and living in a new country and 
environment. It tells of the many changes, both physical 
and psychological that people must endure to succeed and 
survive. It shows the inner core of such people, and how 
they can overcome the adversities of an unknown future, 
unpredictable elements and in spite of personal human 
frailties, come out winners. 

Peggy Simson Curry is a native of Scotland. She left 
that country with her family while very young and lived 
in North Park. Like her characters, she has become a true 
Westerner, and now lives in Casper, Wyoming. In 1981 
she was named poet laureate for the State of Wyoming by 
Governor Ed Herschler. 

Brainerd, a native of London, is Research and Oral Historian for the Archives, 
Museums & Historical Department. 



Albers, Patricia, The Hidden Half: Studies of Plains Indian Women, review, 64 

Allen, Obridge, Guide to the Gold Fields, 5 

Allen, W. A., The Sheep Eaters, 13, 14 

Anderson, Gary C, Kinsmen of Another Kind: Dakota-White Relations in the 

Upper Mississippi Valley, 1650-1862, review, 64 
Arapahoe Politics by Loretta Fowler, review, 60 
"A Bibliography Concerning the Big Horn Medicine Wheel, Big Horn 

National Forest," by Carol D. Hunter, 13-20 
Black Hills goldfields, 50, 51; map, 53 
Brainerd, Jean, review of So Far From Spring, 64-65 
British Columbia goldfields, 43; map, 44 

Brown, Postmaster General , 5, 6 

Buchanan, President James, 3, 4, 12 

Budd, Louis J., Our Mark Twain, The Making of His Public Personality, 

review, 60-61 
Buecker, Thomas R., ed., "The Journals of James S. McClellan, 1st Sgt., 

Company H, 3rd Cavalry" 
Burr, David H., 4 
Cariboo Trail, 43; photo, 45 

California goldfields, 40, 41, 43, 44, 46, 52; map, 42 
Carey, Joseph M., 38 
Cheyenne, 35-39, 50 
Chorpenning, George, 3, 4, 6, 7 
Colorado goldfields, 43, 52, 55, map, 47 
Crook, General George, 27, 32 

Crown, Thelma, review of Historians and the American West, 63 
Curry, Peggy Simson, So Far From Spring, review 64-65 
The Dalles, Oregon, 45; photo, 51 
Davis, Nathaniel R., 36, 37 
Deadwood, South Dakota, 51; photo, 54 
Denver, Colorado, 55; photo 47 
Dundas, Assistant Postmaster General William H., 6 
Eddy, Dr. John, 14, 16 
"Feeding the Mines, The Development of Supply Centers for the 

Goldfields," by Randall Rohe, 41-59 
Ficklin, Benjamin F., 6 

D. A. Russell, 21, 23, 25, 27; photos, 23, 24 

Fred Steele, 25; photo, 26 

Laramie, 28; photo, 28 
Fowler, Loretta, Arapahoe Politics, review, 60 
Fries, Allan, 14, 16 
Frison, George, 13, 14, 16 

Gear, Kathleen O'Neal, review of Arapahoe Politics, 60' 
Gibbs, D. W. 37, 38 

Grace, Robert, review of Wyoming in Profile, 62 

Gray, John S., "The Salt Lake Hockaday Mail," Part II, 2-12; biog., 68 
The Great Father, The United States Government and the American Indians, 

by Paul Francis Prucha, review 63 
Greeley, Horace, 9 
Grey, Don, 14, 16 
Grinnell, George Bird, 13, 16 
Guide to the Gold Fields, by Obridge Allen, 5 
Helena, Montana, 48, 50; photo, 55 


The Hidden Half: Studies of Plains Indian Women, by Patricia Albers, review, 

Historians and the American West, ed. by Michael P. Malone, review, 63 
Hockaday, John M., 2-12 * 

Holt, Post Master General Joseph, 6, 7, 8 
Hunter, Carol D., "A Bibliography of Writings Concerning the Big Horn 

Medicine Wheel, Big Horn National Forest," 13-20; biog., 68 
Indian Man: A Biography of James Mooney, by L. G. Moses, review 61-62 


Dull Knife Battle, 29; map, 31 

Jarvis, Indian Agent , 2, 3 

Jones, Gladys, review of Our Mark Twain, the Making of His Public Per- 
sonality, 60-61 
Jones, John S., 6, 8, 9, 10 
"The Journals of James S. McClellan, 1st Sgt., Company H. 3rd Cavalry," 

by Thomas R. Buecker, 21-34 
Kinsmen of Another Kind: Dakota-White Relations in the Upper Mississippi 

Valley, 1650-1862, by Gary C. Anderson, review 
Lander, Frederick W., 2 
Liggitt, William, 4 

McClellan, James S., 21-34; photo, 32 
Mackenzie, Colonel Ranald S., 28 
McKinney, Lieutenant John, 29 
Majors, Alexander, 10, 12; photo, 11 

Malone, Michael P., ed., Historians and the American West, review, 63 
Mead, Jean, Wyoming in Profile, review, 62 
Medicine Wheel Bibliography, 13-20 
Miller, Charles, 2, 3 
Mills, Captain, Anson, 25 
Montana goldfields, 48, 50 
Moonlight, Governor Thomas, 38 
Morton, Gerald C, review of Indian Man: A Biography of James Mooney, 

Moses, L. G., Indian Man: A Biography of James Mooney, review, 61-62 
Myers, E. E., 36, 37, 38 
Nagle, Erasmus, 36 
O'Brien, Nicholas, 36, 37 
Our Mark Twain, the Making of His Public Personality, by Louis J. Budd, 

review, 60-61 
Peel, Sheila Sundquist, "The Wyoming State Capitol Building," 35-39; 

biog., 68 
Post, Morton E., 36, 37 
Potter, Charles N., 36, 37 
Powder River Expedition of 1876, 21, 28, 32 
Prucha, Paul Francis. The Great Father: The United States Government and 

the American Indians, review, 63 
Ransom, Jay Ellis, 14, 19 
Rohe, Randall, "Feeding the Mines, The Development of Supply Centers 

for the Goldfields," 41-59; biog., 68 
Russell, William H., 6, 8, 9, 10, 12; photo, 11 
Sacramento, California, 40, 41, 52 
Salt Lake City, Utah, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 
"The Salt Lake Hockaday Mail," Part II, by John S. Gray, 2-12 

Schilz, Jodye Dickson, review of The Hidden Half: Studies of Plains Indian So Far From Spring, by Peggy Simson Curry, review, 64-65 

Women, 64 Stockwell, A. G., 13, 19 

Schilz, Thomas F., reviews of The Great Father: The United States Govern- Taos, New Mexico, 43 

ment and the American Indians, 63; Kinsman of Another Kind: Dakota- Waddell, William Bradford, 10, 12; photo, 11 

White Relations in the Upper Mississippi Valley 1650-1862, 64; and The Warren, Francis E., 36 

Hidden Half: Studies of Plains Indian Women, 64 Williams, B. D., 9, 10 

Simms, S. C, 13, 19 Wyoming in Profile, by Jean Mead, review, 62 

Slade, Joseph A., 9, 10 "The Wyoming State Capitol Building," by Sheila Sundquist Peel, 35-39 



THOMAS R. BUECKER is the curator of Neligh Mills His- 
toric Site in Nebraska. He graduated from Kearney State 
College in Nebraska. An eclectic historian, he is a member 
of the South Dakota State Historical Society, the Wyoming 
State Historical Society and the Nebraska State Historical 
Society. He collects the books of Victorian novelist Charles 
King, and pursues research in the field of 19th century 
military history. Buecker has published previously in 

CAROL D. HUNTER is a native of Massachusetts who has 
called Wyoming home since 1975. She is the head of 
Wyoming Historical Research Services and was the direc- 
tor for the Meeteetse Area Research Project. As a member 
of the Wyoming Archaeology Society, State Historical 
Society and Wyoming Oral History Association, she ac- 
tively pursues her love of history both professionally and 
in her leisure time. She has recently become an area coordi- 
nator for Wyoming History Day, the student competition. 

SHEILA SUNDQUIST PEEL is a Master's candidate in 
American Studies at the University of Wyoming. She 
teaches English, speech and debate at Cheyenne East High 
School, as well as coaching the Forensic Team. She has 
been a scholar-performer with the Mountain Plains and 
Wyoming Chautauqua groups. In this capacity she has por- 
trayed Narcissa Whitman and Chicago Joe. 

RANDALL E. ROHE is presently an Assistant Professor 
of Geography at the University of Wisconsin at Waukesha. 
He earned his Masters and Ph.D. at the University of Col- 
orado in Boulder and has taught at that institution. Rohe 
is widely published, with articles appearing in Montana: 
The Magazine of Western History, Geographical Bulletin, The 
Pacific Historian and Technology and Culture. 

JOHN S. GRAY is a retired physiologist-turned-historian. 
He enjoys the distinction of holding both an M.D. and a 
Ph.D. in the field of physiology. Moreover, he has pub- 
lished two popular and definitive Western histories— 
Cavalry, and Coaches: The Story of Camp and Fort Collins and 
The Centennial Campaign: The Sioux War of 1876. 

ELIZABETH M. ROSENBERG is responsible for the hand- 
some portraits of Russell, Majors and Wadell illustrating 
the Gray article in this issue of Annals. A gifted artist, 
Rosenberg has executed handsome pen and ink drawings 
of some of Wyoming's historical buildings. These render- 
ings boast painstaking attention to architectural detail and 
are prized by their owners. 



The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October, 1953. 
Membership is open to anyone interested in history. County chapters of the society 
have been chartered in most of the twenty-three counties of Wyoming. Past 
presidents of the society include; Frank Bowron, Casper, 1953-55; William L. 
Marion, Lander, 1955-56; Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody, 1956-57; Dr. T. A. Lar- 
son, Laramie, 1957-58; A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins, 1958-59; Mrs. Thelma G. Con- 
dit, Buffalo, 1959-60; E. A. Littleton, Gillette, 1960-61; Edness Kimball Wilkins, 
Casper, 1961-62; Charles Ritter, Cheyenne, 1962-63; Neal E. Miller, Rawlins, 
1963-65; Mrs. Charles Hord, Casper, 1965-66; Glenn Sweem, Sheridan, 1966-67; 
Adrian Reynolds, Green River, 1967-68; Curtiss Root, Torrington, 1968-69; Mrs. 
Hattie Burnstad, Worland, 1969-70; J. Reuel Armstrong, Rawlins, 1970-71; William 
R. Dubois, Cheyenne, 1971-72; Henry F. Chadey, Rock Springs, 1972-73; Richard 
S. Dumbrill, Newcastle, 1973-74; Henry Jensen, Casper, 1974-75; Jay Brazelton, 
Jackson, 1975-76; Ray Pendergraft, Worland, 1976-77; David J. Wadsen, Cody, 
1977-78; Mabel Brown, Newcastle, 1978-79; James June, Green River, 1979-80; 
William F. Bragg, Jr., Casper, 1980-81; Don Hodgson, Torrington, 1981-82, Clara 
Jensen, Lysite-Casper, 1982-83; Fern Gaensslen, Green River, 1983-84. 

Membership information may be obtained from the Executive Headquarters, 
Wyoming State Historical Society, Barrett Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002. 
Dues in the state society are: 

Life Membership $100 

Joint Life Membership (husband and wife) $150 

Annual Membership $5 

Joint Annual Membership (two persons of same family 

at same address) $7 

Institutional Membership $10 

President, Dave Kathka, Rock Springs 

First Vice President, Mary Garman, Sundance 
1984-1985 Second Vice President, Ellen Mueller, Cheyenne 

Officers Secretary-Treasurer, Loren Jost, Riverton 

Executive-Secretary , Dr. Robert D. Bush 

Coordinator, Ann Nelson 

-.■ . 







■. ■■ 

V ■* 




NALS of 

Volume 57, Number 2 
Fall, 1985 


The function of the Wyoming State Archives, Museums and Historical Department is 
to collect and preserve materials which tell the story of Wyoming. It maintains the state's 
historical library and research center, the Wyoming State Museum and branch museums, 
the State Art Gallery and the State Archives. The Department solicits original records such 
as diaries, letters, books, early newspapers, maps, photographs and art and records of early 
businesses and organizations as well as artifacts for museum display. The Department asks 
for the assistance of all Wyoming citizens to secure these documents and artifacts. Depart- 
ment facilities are designed to preserve these materials from loss and deterioration. The State 
Historic Preservation Office is also located in the Department. 


Frank Bowron, Casper, Chairman 

Lucille Clarke Dumbrill, Newcastle 

Dave Paulley, Cheyenne 

Mary Sawaya, Kemmerer 

Tom Mangan, Laramie 

Bill Bruce Hines, Gillette 

Marion Barngrover, Worland 

Gladys Hill, Douglas 

Mary Guthrie, Attorney General's Office Ex-officio 


Dona Bachman 

James Donahue 

Rick Ewig 

Mark Junge 

Linda Rollins 

David Kathka, Ex-officio 
President Wyoming State Historical Society 

Frank Bowron, Ex-officio 
Chairman, State Library, Archives, Museums and Historical Board 

ABOUT THE COVER— "Winter Aspen XX" is a watercolor by Jackson Hole artist Sheila Langlois. 
It expresses the pristine serenity and tranquility of Wyoming's high country in the late fall and early 
winter months. Langlois has skillfully communicated the grace and dignity of the trees which beautify 
the mountains of the American West. 


Volume 57, No. 2 
Fall, 1985 


Ed Herschler 


Dr. Robert D. Bush 


William H. Barton 


Jean Brainerd 
Rick Ewig 
Thelma Crown 
Roger Joyce 


Kathy Martinez 
Ann Nelson 


Paula West-Chavoya 
Carroll Jones 
Ed Fowler 


William H. Barton 



by Gerald M. Adams 


by Richard F. Fleck 




by William L. Hewitt 
and Deborah S. Welch 


The Diary of Elias W. Whitcomb 21 

Wyoming W.P.A. Collections 



by Owen Wister 


The University of Wyoming Archives, 
Wister Collection 




ANNALS OF WYOMING is published biannually in the Spring and Fall b\ (ho \V\ oming 
State Press. It is received by all members of the Wyoming State Historical Societj as the of- 
ficial publication of that organization. Copies of previous and current issues may be purchased 
from the Editor. Correspondence should be addressed to the Fditor. Published articles repre- 
sent the views of the author and are not necessarily those ot the Wyoming State Archives. 
Museums and 1 listorical Department or the Wyoming State 1 listorical Society. AW \1 S Ol 
WYOMING articles are abstracted in Historical Abstracts, America: Histor) ,ind 1 ife. 
© Copyright l c )85 by the Wyoming State Press 

The Pioneer Farthings 
of Laramie County 

by Gerald M. Adams 


This article is a result of a series of interviews conducted by 
the author. It is representative of how oral history can be used 
to collect and preserve important information from Wyoming's 
past. From the days of Homer, through the times of the troubadours 
of the Middle Ages and to the present, the oral tradition has been 
a major means of compiling and retaining the story of man and 
his milieu. Generations of Americans have learned of the lives 
of their antecedants through stories and anecdotes lovingly 
gathered and kept— as much, perhaps, to entertain as to inform. 

Oral history is an excellent tool. As a respected discipline, 
it is used to record ethnic, social, economic and genealogical in- 
formation. In an era when advanced technology is rapidly doing 
away with written documents formerly the source of historical 
data, it has become a necessity. There has been a real decline in 
letter writing, journal keeping and few people are likely to com- 
mit their personal lives to paper in the form of a memoir. Oral 
history is, in short, a replacement for paper documents, and at 
the same time, a supplement to paper documents. It is a guarantee 
that a place or people's experience is made a permanent record. 

Historical repositories and historical journals across the na- 
tion are encouraging the collection of important data obtained 
through oral history. The editorial staff of Annals of Wyoming 
enthusiastically joins other like agencies and publications in foster- 
ing the pursuit of oral history. In doing so, we pledge to assist 
in preserving Wyoming's unique heritage. 

Few families have been in southern Wyoming longer 
or done more for their communities, ranching and them- 
selves than the Farthings. The patriarch, Merrill L. Farthing 
of Iron Mountain, is one of the most well-liked and 
respected ranchers of Laramie County and is still active 
in his 80s maintaining a work and social schedule that 
would prostrate most men half his age. He maintains that 
hard work and honest dealings are an important part of 
the Farthing heritage. The Farthing Ranch is unique in re- 
maining essentially a "hands-on" family operation in a day 
when many large Wyoming ranches have been acquired 
by absentee owners or big corporations. 

The Farthings had an interest in horses and cattle long 
before they came to Wyoming more than a hundred years 
ago. Merrill's grandfather, Thomas, bought horses in 
Cheyenne in 1881 for use at his whiskey distillery in Buf- 
falo, New York, and to sell. Good horses could be obtained 
in Cheyenne at low prices. Horsepower had long been im- 
portant to the distillery's operation, which had been started 
before the Civil War by the elder Farthing. 

Cattle were also fattened in the distillery feedlots on 
used whiskey grain mash. Scrawny shorthorn cattle 
bought in Canada and fed mash were quickly fleshed out 
at a profit for the distillery, and made happy too. 

Ranching opportunities in Laramie County impressed 
Thomas Farthing, and his two sons, Harry and Charles, 
were to become area ranchers. In 1884, Thomas Farthing 
bought a 2,000 acre ranch from Cheyenne hotel operator 
Tim Dyer for eldest son Harry. Located about twenty miles 
north and a little west of Cheyenne on Lodgepole Creek, 
the ranch had water, good meadows and an expansion 
potential. Government land in the area could be grazed 

From the Farthing Family Album . . . 
Charles Farthing in Sunday Clothes, 1910 
The Ranch Buildings in 1907 
A Swimming Party in the 1920s 

free and there were dry-farm homesteads, earlier claimed 
up, that could be bought at very reasonable prices. To start 
a cattle herd, shorthorn bulls were brought from Buffalo 
and crossbred with Herefords. Work horses (Shires) and 
riding horses (Thoroughbreds crossed) were also brought 
in and bred with western horses. Characteristics of those 
first riding horses are still discernible in the Farthing's Iron 
Mountain horse herd. Stories of the horse that remains 
most vividly in Merrill Farthing's memory pertains to his 
grandfather Thomas Farthing's favorite driving horse, a 
mare named Gypsy. Her good traits and features are still 
very much appreciated at Iron Mountain. 

The Harry Farthing Ranch on Lodgepole Creek, was 
owned by Merrill's uncle. It maintained a steady growth 
rate despite the terrible winter of 1886-1887 and the 
depressed beef prices of that period. When Harry Farthing 
died in 1947 childless, still ranching at the age of 83, his 
principal heirs included the two sons of his brother 
Charles, Tom and Merrill. In an exchange of property 
rights with Merrill, brother Tom took possession of the 
Lodgepole Creek Ranch and continued that successful 
ranching operation until his death in 1959. The ranch is 
now owned in part by Tom Farthing's daughter, Mrs. 
Sharon Tuck of Cheyenne. 

When Merrill's father, Charles, followed his older 
brother west in 1902, another ranch was purchased of 2,000 
acres. Charles and his young wife, Maude Briggs, settled 
on the Edwards Ranch at the head of Chugwater Creek 
near Iron Mountain. The Chugwater Creek Ranch, like the 
Lodgepole Creek Ranch, had plenty of government land 
around it for grazing cattle. This ranch, greatly expanded, 
is now known as the Farthing Ranch at Iron Mountain. 

Born in a rented "town house" at the southwest cor- 
ner of 16th Street and Central in Cheyenne on December 
23, 1903, Merrill Farthing remembers his family and the 
gro wing-up years with fond memories. The Iron Moun- 
tain ranch soon included an elementary schoolhouse, 
bunkhouse, cookhouse and other houses where married 
ranch hands lived. It was a small community in itself. Many 
people and horses were required to run a cattle ranch. The 
Farthing kids never lacked for things to do and the boys 
did the work of full-time hands while also attending school 
in the winter months. 

Merrill graduated from the old Central High in Chey- 
enne then located between Central and Warren on 22nd 
Street in 1922, the last class before razing the building and 
relocating the school a few blocks north. Merrill and 
brother Tom had a room in a house near the school dur- 
ing the school term and took their meals at Schmidt's 
Boarding House located on Central between 16th and 17th 

Everybody in the family worked when they were not 
in school including Merrill's two sisters, now Mrs. Betty 
Forde of California and Mrs. Helen Peasley of Cheyenne. 
The girls were particularly helpful in the hay fields during 


the haying season. Merrill recalls that they did not have 
much money but they always had fun and interesting 
things to do. 

While entertainment usually centered on the family 
and close to home, other ranch families often joined in. 
Barn dances were a favorite and always well-attended, as 
were school box suppers and polo games. The Farthing 
polo field attracted players and they could always get a 
good polo game going on summer Sunday afternoons. 

When the Farthings started the Iron Mountain ranch 
in 1902, breeding stock came from the Harry Farthing 
Ranch on Lodgepole Creek. Although Harry was thirteen 
years older than Charles, the brothers enjoyed aldose rela- 
tionship and helped each other throughout their lives. The 
remnant strains of cows and horses shipped to Harry by 
grandfather Farthing from Buffalo in 1884 are in the 
animals at the Farthing Iron Mountain ranch today. 

Although shorthorn bulls were used mainly to cross- 
breed initially, Herefords and other breeds of bulls were 
also used. The Farthings never opted for a purebred 
Hereford herd, but Merrill does use some Hereford bulls. 
Angus bulls, and more recently the Charolais, are also 
used, producing what Merrill terms a "commercial" herd. 

Merrill believes that he knows everything about ranch 
mortgages and the condition of being heavily in debt. His 
father bought surrounding land when it came up for sale 
and Merrill has done the same. The 1930s Depression and 
drouth slowed down the land buying program for a few 
years, and even threatened the ranch. Rural properties 
were being repossessed in record numbers. The Depression, 
which drastically reduced cattle market prices, was bad 
enough but the drouth of that period caused range grass 
to become scarce all over the high plains region. Cattle 
were starving in Laramie County and money to buy sup- 
plemental feed seemed as scarce as good grass. Selling the 
stock often offered the only alternative even though the 
cattle market remained severely depressed during most of 
the 1930s. 

In order to keep things together and with some cash 
money coming in to pay the bills, Merrill's father took a 
job for three years with the Reconstruction Finance Cor- 
poration, a government agency formed to help ranchers 
and farmers survive those troubled years. Merrill's brother, 
Tom, operated the general store the Farthings had built 
in 1920 while Merrill managed the ranch and also worked 
part time for the nearby John Whitaker Ranch. Thus the 
Farthings at Iron Mountain were able to hold on to their 
ranch and survive the drouth and depression of the 1930s. 
State maps show a town of Farthing on Highway 211 
near Iron Mountain, but little more than a sign, a railroad 
siding and a post office remain. When the railroad built 
a line through the ranch, they named their station near 
Sand Creek, Farthing. But the post office, originally located 
in Farthing's general store, was given the name of Iron 
Mountain by the Postal Department. In addition to the Far- 



Above, a trail herd of 400 ponies headed from Iron 
Mountain to Fort Laramie, where they sold for $10.00 
each in 1934. 

Right, a Shetland pony round up in the corral. 

thing's general store and post office, there stood a train 
station, a schoolhouse, several houses and barns. There 
also were sidetracks for the railroad to unload supplies for 
the ranchers, a water tower, and a full-time booster engine 
that helped trains over the steep grade south of the sta- 
tion. All in all, the town of Farthing or Iron Mountain had 
a full time population of some twenty-five people, and saw 
a lot of activity. The Farthing home ranch house is about 
two miles west, nestled in the foothills of the Laramie 
Mountains. Merrill says that they never had far to go when 
they wanted to go to town, Farthing/Iron Mountain that is. 
In any case, fires at various times were the undoing 
of the town and the railroad could not see fit to replace 
their burned buildings. Years ago, not much could be done 
on a ranch or in a small town when a fire got started in 
a good wind. The railroad figured that any rebuilt buildings 
would only burn again. Also, as roads were extended and 
transportation improved throughout the State, small trad- 
ing outposts such as Farthing/Iron Mountain became less 
important. A major change came when the forty-eight mile 
road to Cheyenne finally got an oil surface in 1959. The 
post office is about all that remains at Farthing/Iron Moun- 
tain and it is operated out of an abandoned boxcar two 
hours a day, six days a week. Merrill calculates that the 
postmistress, Mrs. Marian McGlees who lives on a ranch 
about three miles away, constitutes a population of one 
for Farthing/Iron Mountain— at least two hours a day, six 
days a week. 

From the Family Album 

Although cattle have always been the mainstay, the Iron 
Mountain Farthings were also involved in the Shetland 
pony business for several years with a herd of some eight 
hundred ponies. The herd had been started in 1879 when 
Merrill's father had been given three Shetland ponies, two 
mares and a stud. The offspring produced by those three 
Shetlands came west with Charles Farthing and provided 
a good revenue for the ranch in the 1920s, and again in 
the 1940s and 1950s. This Shetland herd became so well 
known that in 1926, Pathe News brought their cameras to 
the Farthing Ranch so they could show their nationwide 
movie audiences the big pony herd. Shetland ponies were 
very popular, cost about $50 and made great pets for kids. 

The drouth and poor grazing conditions during the 
early 1930s caused much of the Farthing's pony herd to 
be sold, but the herd grew again when the moisture and 
grass returned. During the good years the Farthings 
marketed ponies all over the country. The market "went 
crazy" for a while in the 1950s with an average Shetland 
selling for $500 or more, but then the market fell back to 
a $25 level where it has remained for many years. 

Along with a sizeable cattle herd, the Farthings now 
keep thirty saddle horses and fifty Shetland ponies. About 
twenty-five Shetland colts are sold each fall at Fort Col- 
lins to keep the herd sized. Ponies are no longer profitable 
for the Farthing Ranch, but neither are they any trouble 
to raise, according to Merrill. Great foragers, the Shetlands 

winter well in the hills of the ranch and are seldom seen 
until the fall roundup. Surprisingly, ponies live longer than 
horses, thirty years being a good age for a pony. 

The Farthings presented a Shetland pony to the Uni- 
versity of Wyoming's football team as a mascot in 1950 and 
he was titled "Cowboy Joe." Two replacement ponies have 
since been provided, Cowboy Joe III assuming the duties 
of mascot in 1981. The tender loving care given to the 
mascots at the University seems to shorten their life span. 
The animals survive longer roughing it in the hills of the 
Farthing Ranch. A strong Farthing attachment to these 
ponies is evident whenever they are discussed. Merrill feels 
that the ponies have been good to his family for more than 
a hundred years and he hopes that there will always be 
a place for the Shetlands at the Farthing Ranch. 

Merrill and Grayce Farthing celebrated their Golden 
Wedding Anniversary in 1983 with a grand reception at 
the Hitching Post, hosted by their three children, Mrs. 
Betty Bishop of Cheyenne, Mrs. Merrilyn Segrest of Albu- 
querque, and Charles Farthing of Iron Mountain. A native 
of Saratoga, Wyo., Grayce Moore was teaching school at 
Farthing/Iron Mountain, Wyo., when she met Merrill. 
Seven grandchildren and about 500 friends attended the 
reception to help celebrate this auspicious occasion— the 
half -century partnership of two beautiful people. 

The Farthing strategy, with its focus on hard work and 
keen attention to the land and animals along with a long- 

practiced family-decision making process that encompasses 
the major phases of ranch operations, has been successful 
by every measure. Their strong cattle herd has enabled 
them to survive the bad years, improve their holdings, 
send their children to college— or most of their kids— and 
live a good life. 

While Merrill's two sisters and two daughters all 
graduated from the University of Wyoming, neither Mer- 
rill, his brother Tom nor his son Charles attended college. 
They all felt that the ranch needed them more than did 
the University of Wyoming. 

Merrill's father served two terms in the Wyoming leg- 
islature and a term as county commissioner, but Merrill 
has never sought public office. His attention and energy 
has always been devoted to the ranch. Merrill and Grayce 
Farthing have, however, always participated in Southeast 
Wyoming civic and social activities, being Presbyterians, 
members of the Cheyenne Country Club, Wyoming Stock 
Grower's Association, The Newcomen Society, and the 
American National Cattlemen's Association. 

Merrill is also a 32nd Degree Mason. An excellent after- 
dinner speaker, Merrill Farthing is loaded with good 
humor and would have done well in any circuit as a 
stand-up comedian. 

Merrill's father and mother decided in 1950 that it was 
time for them to move from the ranch to town, to an apart- 
ment in the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne. The elder Farthing 

University of Wyoming mascot Cowboy Joe I in 1950. The young man, Dick Anderson, had just taken the pony 
to be fitted for chaps at the T. J. Holmes Saddle Shop in Cheyenne. 

Merrill, Charles and Thomas Farthing, photographed by a Soviet camera crew in 1950. 

had long been plagued with eye and back problems, and 
unable to ride a horse. The day-to-day ranch management 
had been Merrill's task since the 1920s. 

After Merrill and Grayce moved into the big ranch 
house in 1950, they continued to expand the ranch and it 
has more than doubled in size in those thirty-five years. 
The 9,000 acres acquired with Frank Bosler's Bar Circle 
Ranch, the 6,000 acres that came with the Wallace Ranch, 
6,000 acres acquired in 1984 from the Hirsig Ranch, plus 
sizeable purchases from the Whitaker family and some 
other smaller purchases, make the Farthing Ranch at Iron 
Mountain a very sizeable Laramie County holding. When 
asked how much land and how many cattle he has, Mer- 
rill's response is typical of an Iron Mountain rancher when 
he says, "not enough to make any money." 

Merrill Farthing remains at age 82 a working rancher. 
He is in the saddle from morning to night when cattle are 
being moved and in the hayfield at all hours during the 
haying season. He goes wherever he is needed at other 
times. Only one full-time ranch hand is hired now, with 
Merrill and Charles, father and son, doing most of the 
work. Some summer help is taken-on during the haying 
season, usually two or more grandsons. Modern machines 
can now do the work of many hands and horses required 

Merrill and Grayce bought a condominium-townhouse 
in Cheyenne in 1979 and turned the main ranch house over 
to son Charles and his wife Carol, in much the same way 
that Merrill's parents had turned the house over to him and 

Grayce in 1950. When asked who is now boss at the ranch, 
Merrill's answer reflects his keen sense of humor: "You 
can be sure that the Farthing Ranch never lacks for 
managers or management." 

In a day that runs heavily toward absentee and/or cor- 
porate ownership of ranches, the family owned and 
operated Farthing Ranch represents Wyoming longevity, 
independence and tenacity. It also represents ranching 
families all over the American West, but at the same time 
the ranch has maintained the quality of being uniquely Far- 
thing. To be sure, the Farthing Ranch is a business but 
it's a family business with human qualities. It seems as if 
only in the High Plains oHhe West do such institutions 
still exist. 

Charles and Carol Farthing have two small sons, so 
the prospect of a continuing father-son team of Farthings 
running the ranch seems good. In Merrill's view, he had 
a high regard for his father and they always worked well 
together. He hopes that his son feels the same way about 
him. Merrill stays in a small house at the ranch five nights 
a week so he can work hard six days "helping Charley." 
Grayce loves living in Cheyenne and the beautiful 
Westgate condominium-townhouse, and she wishes that 
Merrill would spend more time in town and traveling with 
her. Merrill has a great regard for Grayce, but he also loves 
the ranch and everything there. Although he comes to 
town on week-ends and special occasions, and enjoys the 
townhouse very much, he refers to it as Grayce's house. 
Merrill's preferred home will always be "the ranch." 


RUPERT WEEKS 1918-1983 

Weeks was born in Garland, Utah and attended a government industrial school in the 1920s about which 
he humorously remarked that he was not so much brainwashed as he was whitewashed. 

In 1933 he moved to the Wind River Indian Reservation and came to know and love that land with the 
sensitivity of an artist. During World War II he served under General Patton in the 80th Blue Ridge Division 
as a cannoneer marching from Normandy to the Czech-German border. 

After the war Rupert Weeks took up painting in acrylics, and these portray his deep feelings for wildlife 
and landscapes. Some of these works now hang in the Museum of the Great Plains Indian Life at Browning, 
Montana and in the Gottsche Foundation in Thermopolis. He taught Shoshone culture and language at the 
University of Wyoming, told traditional stories to the children at various Wyoming Indian schools and served 
on the tribal council at Fort Washakie. He was loved and respected throughout the state of Wyoming, and 
many readers today are enjoying Weeks' only book, Pachee Goyo (1981). 


His body lay 
in special tipi 
full of flowers 
as friends intone 
songs of Sundance 
as he wished, 
and slow cortege 
proceeds past fields 
where horses gallop 
following that hearse 
as if to get 
one last look. 
As his body 
is lowered down 
into sunny grave 
I think of him 
and his joyous 
days of storytelling 
beaming sunshine to 
weary souls so 
much in need 
of Shoshone light. 

Richard F. Fleck 

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3 ^^)ElggH( l| " '■' ■■■ l"l 1 

National Issues Brought 
to the University of Wyoming 

in the 1920s 

II !■! IB E5BMEB© B alfl B (^gH IIBIBII | 

William L. Hewitt 
Deborah S. Welch 

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Prohibition, professional athletics, militarism, flappers, 
fanatics: all were issues of social concern and criticism 
throughout the nation in the 1920s. It seems unlikely that 
the University of Wyoming, a small and relatively isolated 
institution in those years, would have assumed any promi- 
nence in the country's debates over these issues. Yet con- 
troversy reached this campus. In a five year battle between 
two prominent men, A. G. Crane, president of the Univer- 
sity, and H. C. Gossard, chairman of the mathematics 
department, national arguments over drinking, paid ath- 
letes, and militarism became campus issues as well. The 
following discussion examines that battle and the impact 
it made on the University during the "Roaring Twenties." 1 

On the surface, H. C. Gossard was a competent, even 
exemplary academician. Having received his Ph.D. from 
Johns Hopkins University, Gossard first spent six years as 
a mathematics professor at the University of Oklahoma. 
He brought this experience to his new position in 1921 as 
University of Wyoming mathematics instructor. By 1923, 
he had risen to Department head. In addition to his pro- 
fessional credentials, Gossard displayed enthusiastic sup- 
port for the activities of the Methodist Church, which im- 
pressed Wyoming President Aven Nelson, chairman of the 
Board of the Wyoming Wesley Foundation. 2 

Upon his arrival at the University of Wyoming, Gos- 
sard had immediately become heavily involved with the 
local Methodist church, teaching a Sunday School class and 
serving on the finance committee of the congregation. In- 
deed, many church members credited him with pulling the 
church out of debt. At the same time, he assumed a leading 
role in the Student Christian Association branch of the 
Y.M.C.A. on campus, and was active in drawing students 
on campus into that organization as well as into youth ac- 
tivities at the church. 

This show of concern for young people and laudable 
work on their behalf quickly made Dr. Gossard a much 
respected member of the Laramie community. During his 
first year in Laramie, he was brought into the local Lions 
Club whose members shared the common view of Gossard 
as a knowledgeable and admirable man. 3 Moreover, while 
Nelson served as president of the University, Gossard ap- 
parently played no role other than that of a dedicated 
teacher, church-goer, and well-liked member of the com- 
munity. Then in 1922, Nelson made the decision to step 
down from the presidency and resume teaching botany. 
In October of that year, Dr. Arthur Griswold Crane was 
brought in by the Board of Trustees as the new University 

Crane received his B.S. degree from Carleton College. 
While serving as superintendent in various school systems 
in the Middle West and as President of the State Normal 

School of Minot, North Dakota from 1912 to 1920, he 
earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia Teachers' 
College. In addition, during World War I, he acted as direc- 
tor of educational rehabilitation in the Sanitary Corps in 
Washington, D.C. In 1922, Crane took over the presidency 
of the University of Wyoming after two years as president 
of the State Normal School at Edinboro, Pennsylvania. 4 

Repeated attacks upon his administration were to mar 
Crane's first five years at Wyoming. Criticism of the presi- 
dent centered around social issues such as drinking, mili- 
tarism, athletics, and moral conduct in general. When the 
fog of suspicions and accusations cleared, it was obvious ■ 
that all of these attacks originated in the scheming ambi- 
tion of one man— H. C. Gossard. 

Gossard began his secretive campaign against Presi- 
dent Crane in 1924 when he brought Sherwood Eddy to 
campus. Eddy had just returned from the Soviet Union 
and his address was advertised as a speech on Russian in- 
ternal conditions. 5 At Gossard's recommendation, the 
faculty discussion committee went so far as to persuade 
Dr. Crane to suspend classes and order an all-university 
assembly for Eddy's address. What followed was not an 
academic oration, but "a revival meeting" in which Eddy 
preached on the sins of militarism and paid college 
athletes. 6 Gossard had accomplished his purpose of em- 
barrassing the administration, but was never held account- i 
able. Feigning surprise at Eddy's comments, along with 
his colleagues on the faculty, Gossard still offered surrep- [I 
titious support for the Eddy speech. While other teachers, ■ 
particularly those on the discussion committee, may have 
had their suspicions that "Dr. Gossard had gotten us there 
under false pretences," as one observed later, no one at 
the time ventured to make any accusations. It was, as one 
member of the Board of Trustees later testified, "hard to 
realize that he [Gossard] was doing underhanded things." 7 

Yet, Gossard's capacity for underhanded dealings 
became clear to all following the distribution of The White 
Mule Boomerang, a satirization of the name of the Laramie 
newspaper, on Easter morning in 1926. The White Mule, 
a hastily printed scandal sheet charged President Crane 
with ignoring the public display of" drunkeness at the 
Midwest Cafe, a local restaurant. It observed that "Peek- 
ing through one's fingers at a disgusting sight does not 
lessen the stigma attached, or benefit the morale of the 
University we love." 8 

The seriousness of this charge made against a univer- 
sity president, the appointed guardian of the minds and 
morals of university students, at a time when Prohibition 
was national law, cannot be overestimated. Neither the 
Wyoming students nor the Laramie community believed 
these charges and both heartily condemned the anony- 






Harn/ C. Gossard, 

Crane's request that the findings be accomplished in all 
haste, Samson made an enlarged photographic illustration 
comparing the handwriting from the scrawled title, The 
White Mule, with samples of Laury's handwriting. He also 
compared the type from The White Mule with other 
mimeographed copies he had from the church press. Sam- 
son even tracked down the paper on which the slander 
sheet had been printed to a local shopkeeper who swore 
that Laury had purchased the paper. From this evidence, 
Samson concluded that The White Mule had been printed 
on the church machine and that the printed title had come 
from the hand of Raymond Laury. 10 

Five days after Samson reported his findings, Crane 
met with Lon C. Davis of the Federal Prohibition Office 
in Cheyenne where he learned that Laury had been send- 
ing that office the names of students on campus who, ac- 
cording to the minister, were drinking. Moreover, Crane 
discovered that both Laury and French had been involved 
in schemes using students posing as potential liquor buyers 
in an attempt to entrap other students. 11 The failure of 
these plots to uncover any liquor on campus had done 
nothing to alleviate the suspicions of Laury and French as 
is evidenced by the subsequent printing of The White Mule. 

With so much evidence amassed against Laury, Crane 
appointed a faculty committee which began a series of in- 
terviews with Laury and French, and Gossard. In the midst 

a competent and exemplary acamedician. " Arthur G. Crane, a victim of harsh criticism and a smear campaign. 

mous attack— The White Mule was unsigned and placed in 
residents' doors and mailboxes during the night. None- 
theless, the sheet could not be ignored and Crane im- 
mediately began a search for its source. 

Suspicion centered on two local ministers, Reverend 
W. L. French and Reverend Raymond H. Laury, who had 
taken it upon themselves to be active self-appointed watch- 
dogs against any hint of drinking by students or townspeo- 
ple. Consequently, Crane broadened his conspiracy suspi- 
cions to include Gossard because of his affiliation with the 
First Methodist Church, which employed French and 
Laury, but more importantly, because Laury lived with the 
Gossard family. The latter made it very unlikely that 
Gossard would not have been aware of Laury's plans, par- 
ticularly since the two men shared a common concern 
about the so-called moral laxity on campus. 

Determined to discover the authors of The White Mule 
as quickly as possible, President Crane made the extraor- 
dinary move of requesting a local attorney, Charles V. 
Garnett to secure the services of a private detective. 
Garnett hired Denver investigator, Roy O. Samson who 
analyzed copies of The White Mule, University class registra- 
tion cards bearing the handwriting of Laury, copies of the 
print type from the Methodist Church mimeograph 
machine, as well as a poster hand-printed by Laury. At 


University President Crane and his family made a spectacular entrance in Laramie in a historic stage coach. Symbolic of Wyoming's western image, 
the event is immortalized in a Student Union mural. 

of these sessions, four students went to Crane's office and 
admitted to their part in the printing and distribution of 
The White Mule. Whether alarmed by the seriousness of the 
situation, pressured by their peers, or perhaps motivated 
by a desire to protect Laury or Gossard, the students con- 
fessed their individual involvement, but refused to im- 
plicate anyone else. One of the boys was the son of a 
University trustee, J.J. Marshall. In conversations with his 
son and with the parents of the other students involved, 
all of whom were from Sheridan, Trustee Marshall con- 
cluded that Laury was responsible for the attack on 
Crane. 12 The UW faculty agreed and by a unanimous vote 
dismissed Laury as a campus minister. 13 

Laury was thus punished; yet, he alone was not to 
blame. Crane, as well as many of the faculty, knew that 
both French and Gossard were behind the accusations 
printed in The White Mule, as Crane wrote to Marshall, 

The boys were influenced by Reverend Laury and he in turn is con- 
trolled and guided by a group consisting of Reverend French, Dr. 
Nelson, and Dr. Gossard. Though the young men have sought in 
their testimony to fully exonerate any of these faculty members, never- 
theless, it is plain that had the faculty members manifested in the 
past, disapproval of such tactics and such broadside accusations, the 
White Mule would never have appeared. 

. . . This is about the fourth campaign of gossip, scandal and 
propaganda which the institution has suffered during the last three 
years. Each campaign has had the same characteristics of unsupported 
exaggeration and each has emanated from the same source. u 

Among the other scandals about which Crane wrote 
were the issues of anti-militarism and paid athletes. 15 With 
these issues, as well, Gossard encouraged others to attack 
the University and particularly the Crane administration 
while he remained behind the scenes protected from any 
charges of direct involvement. 

In the 1920s, militarism concerned many Americans. 
The entry of the United States into World War I advanced 
the establishment of both Army and Navy training units, 
Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.) on more than five 
hundred campuses throughout the nation. At the an- 
nouncement of peace in Europe, the War Department de- 
cided that with the dismantling of the S.A.T.C, new 
R.O.T.C. classes would replace these units. The reasons 
for this continuance of military education found ready ac- 
ceptance among University of Wyoming students who 
heartily supported R.O.T.C— in fact, they dedicated the 
student yearbook of 1920 to the head of military studies, 
Major B. C. Daly. This not only reflected a high-pitched 
patriotic fervor and sense of public responsibility which 
had been brought on by the war, but UW administrators 
also recognized the potential benefits to the college made 
possible by federal funds which accompanied R.O.l.C 
units." 1 

As a land grant college required by the Morrill Act of 
1862 to institute military training, the University ot Wyo- 
ming had required a course in military science since L891. 


R.O.T.C. Commandant Beverly C. Daly 

Under the leadership of Major Beverly C. Daly, brought 
to UW as professor of military science in 1911, the R.O.T.C. 
program grew offering a two-year advanced elective in ad- 
dition to the two-year basic required course. In fact, the 
R.O.T.C. at the University of Wyoming enjoyed sustained 
growth and support in the campus community. In the post 
World War I decade, college campuses throughout the na- 
tion showed a marked increase in R.O.T.C. enrollment 
of 165%, while Wyoming boasted a growth rate of 280%. 
Augmenting Daly's success was the unqualified support 
of President Crane, who served as Chairman of the Com- 
mittee on Military Affairs for the Association of Land Grant 
Colleges and Universities. 

Expansion of the R.O.T.C. during the 1920s, however, 
was accompanied by a growing attack against the program 
on the national level by pacifist groups. Primarily an 
Eastern movement, the anti-militarism campaign had lit- 
tle effect on Wyoming where the enthusiasm for military 
study shared by University administration and students 
alike continued undiminished until the end of the decade. 
The popularity of the R.O.T.C. remained solid despite the 
appearance on campus of several pacifist speakers spon- 
sored by the Y.M.C.A. Sherwood Eddy, "Dad" Elliott, 

Paul Blanshard and Frank Olmstead, members of the 
emerging anti-militarism movement, spoke before Wyo- 
ming students throughout the decade. Yet their presence 
made little impact other than to inspire student letters 
published in the campus newspaper pointing out the ad- 
vantages of R.O.T.C. training. 19 Even the visit in 1925 of 
John Nevin Sayre, Episcopal minister and a leader of the 
Committee on Militarism in Education (C.M.E.) failed to 
undermine R.O.T.C. support among students. 20 Never- 
theless, this trip West was not a complete failure for Sayre 
and his cause, for while in Laramie, he met Gossard, ready 
and willing to supply him with ammunition for his anti- 
R.O.T.C. campaign in Wyoming. 

The connection between Sayre and Gossard remains 
obscure because in the controversy which followed, as in 
all others with which Gossard was involved, the professor 
was painstakingly careful to remain behind the scenes. 
Clearly, the two men shared similar viewpoints as officials 
in the Y.M.C.A., and it was that organization which 
brought Sayre to Laramie. Moreover, it was at this time 
that Gossard joined the community "Law-not-War" com- 
mittee, an off-shoot of the Committee on Military Educa- 
tion. Finally, the professor's penchant for undermining 


Crane suggests that the following misinformation given to 
Sayre about Crane and the R.O.T.C. on the UW campus 
originated in a Gossard intrigue. Subsequent to his visit 
to campus, Sayre wrote an article for The World Tomorrow, 
a pacifist journal in which he charged that the R.O.T.C. 
commandant at Wyoming controlled the University Speak- 
ers' Committee and forbade the presence of anyone hold- 
ing anti-military views on campus. Moreover, Sayre 
charged, a detective had been employed to follow a faculty 
member of the "Law-not-War" committee in order to 
detect "evidence of unpatriotism." 21 Both Crane and Daly 
vigorously refuted these charges. 22 Yet the damage had 
been done. Military censorship at the University of Wyo- 
ming became a matter of discussion on campuses through- 
out the nation, and surfaced again two years later as an 
issue in an article titled, "What the Blue Menace Means" 
which appeared in Harpers Magazine. 23 

Major Daly had no doubts that Gossard had given his 
version of what was occurring at Wyoming to Sayre and 
the pacifist press. Meanwhile, the furor created by The 
White Mule charges and his hidden hand in other attacks 
on Crane put Gossard in an awkward position. He had 
requested a leave of absence at one-half pay in order to 
expand his services to the Y.M.C.A. As more information 
surfaced concerning the controversies which had plagued 
the campus, Crane retaliated and sought the backing of 
various administrative bodies, who threatened to censure 

Gossard. The faculty executive committee called by Crane 
to review Gossard' s activities as department head con- 
cluded that his actions reflected unfavorably on the Univer- 
sity. The Board of Trustees overwhelmingly concurred and 
voted to offer Gossard a one-year conditional contract with 
the understanding that it would be his last year as a faculty 
member. 24 

In still another attempt to bring the Crane administra- 
tion into disrepute, Gossard added the issue of paid 
athletes to the charges of drinking and militaristic censor- 
ship on campus. Athletics, especially football, had grown 
to be an increasingly popular part of college life at Wyo- 
ming, as on other campuses. In January 1921, Wyoming 
had been admitted to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Con- 
ference despite the dissenting vote of Colorado University 
that Wyoming athletes "played like hired men, hired to 
play the game." 25 Whether Colorado made this charge for 
reasons of rivalry or honest suspicion is unknown. At any 
rate, it was dropped and soon forgotten until four years 
later when the charge was revived by the Associated Press 
which reported that Wyoming's football coach paid play- 
ers. 26 

The 1926 Varsity Football Squad, bitterly vilified by 
Gossard as paid athletes. 




William H. "Lonestar" Dietz, another victim of 
Gossard's acrimonious outpouring. 

This time, Gossard had little opportunity to deny re- 
sponsibility for the controversy. He had made confiden- 
tial accusations against the University of Wyoming athletic 
program before the Rocky Mountain Regional Athletic 
Conference. Posing as a member of the faculty, despite the 
fact that he had resigned after being offered the terminal 
contract, Gossard testified that he had proof of profes- 
sionalism at UW. He provided a list of names of Laramie 
residents whom he insisted could substantiate his charges. 
At the same time, he indiscreetly sent a memo to each 

trustee incriminating Head Football Coach W. H. "Lone- 
star" Dietz and the local Lion's Club in a scheme to pro- 
vide a slush fund for Wyoming athletes. 27 

In truth, the Lion's Club had awarded funds to a few 
students of both sexes, athletes and non-athletes alike. The 
professionalism issue centered around basketball captain 
Boyd "OK" Erickson of Cheyenne. 28 Erickson had come 
from a single parent family. He worked during summer 
breaks while attending the University in order to help his 
mother raise three brothers. According to Dr. Crane, 
Erickson received a one hundred dollar scholarship from 
UW in addition to a one hundred dollar scholarship from 
the Lions Club and a sum less than one hundred dollars 
from Dr. Brown of the Club. Crane revealed that these facts 
had been presented to Colorado State University and Col- 
orado University officials, who had threatened to boycott 
UW teams and "both schools accepted him and allowed 
him to play, saying that he was entirely eligible and they 
had no complaint whatever." 29 The bewildering fact re- 
vealed to the American Association of University Pro- 
fessors investigators by Thurman Arnold was that Gossard 
had served on the Lions Club committee which had se- 
lected Erickson for the scholarship. Consequently, the 
Lions Club voted unanimously to revoke Gossard's mem- 
bership. 30 

By early 1926, reaction to the "anonymous" attack of 
The White Mule and Gossard's subversive activities swelled 
from both the University and the Laramie community. The 
final blow to Gossard's reputation occurred after numerous 
complaints concerning his attempt to undermine the Uni- 
versity during the course of the 1927 legislative session in 
Cheyenne. The Wyoming Eagle reported on March 4, 1927 
that "Mr. Gossard spent considerable time in Cheyenne, 
certain warm friends of the University in the legislature 
reporting that he attempted to prejudice them against the 
President and others of the Wyoming school." However, 
the legislators rebuffed Gossard and they avowed, "that 
his tactics only served to strengthen their own confidence 
in the institution and their own determination to see that 
it received a goodly sized appropriation so long as that ap- 
propriation was reasonable." 31 

Thus, once again, Gossard's campaign against the Uni- 
versity and the Crane administration failed. The appropria- 
tion by the state legislature was unaffected. The Univer- 
sity continued as a member of the Rocky Mountain Associ- 
ation. Finally, Crane's position was stronger than ever in 
the aftermath of Gossard's many charges. The President's 
quick and thorough defense of the University against the 
charges of drinking, militarism, and paid athletes brought 
him the respect and loyalty of both the Board of Trustees 
and the student body. 32 

What motivated Gossard, aside from revenge after 
being terminated in his University position? Was it a 
sincere desire to reform what he viewed as the wrongs oc- 
curring on campus? Clearly, he was an avid prohibitionist. 


As Thurman Arnold, former Laramie mayor and later New 
Deal lawyer, as well as a member of the Laramie Lions Club 
which ousted Gossard in 1926, testified, "Dr. Gossard 
seemed to be under the impression that he was a secret 
agent of the Prohibition Department . . ." 33 During his 
years in Laramie, Gossard had tried to ferret out any secret 
drinking either by students or townspeople. Fred Morrow 
Fling of the University of Nebraska appointed by the 
American Association of University Professors to investi- 
gate Dr. Gossard's dismissal concluded, "he seemed to 
be a self-appointed censor of the morals of the commu- 
nity." 34 

Was there drinking on campus which offended the 
moral sensibilities of Professor Gossard? Certainly, al- 
though the evidence seems to suggest that there was far 
less of it at Wyoming than on other college campuses. Even 
Herbert Webster, an official of the Wyoming Anti-Saloon 
League, who spent three days on campus trying to pros- 
ecute students drinking, stated, "I knew where to go . . . 
I knew just about where students would be likely to drink 
... I went everywhere and I stayed up all night. I found 
just three drunken students and a very few more who gave 
evidence of having been drinking. I call that a good record. 
In schools that I had been connected with previously, I 
would have been sure of finding not less than a dozen 
drunken students . . ." 35 President Crane, of course, took 
action against the drinkers on campus, although there were 
few to be reprimanded. None of the action taken against 
both students and faculty found to be drinking resulted 
from evidence brought to Crane by Gossard. 36 

The sensational attack on the military presence on the 
University of Wyoming campus most clearly displayed 
Gossard's use of spurious evidence and suggest a motive 
other than a sincere desire for reform. Clearly the state- 
ment he gave to the C.M.E. regarding military censorship 
imposed by the R.O.T.C. commander was a lie, as is evi- 
denced by the number of pacifist speakers who appeared 
on campus. 37 As for professionalism in Wyoming football, 
it seems that the intentions of the coach and the Lion's 
Club members were above reproach. Here again, the evi- 
dence refutes Gossard's accusations. Neither the Rocky 
Mountain Conference, nor the faculty committee ap- 
pointed by the administration and the student committee 
appointed by the ASUW (the student governing board), 
could find substantiation for the charges. 

Looking deeper for a motive other than sincere moral 
outrage or reforming zeal, one finds ambition directing 
Gossard's actions. Joseph A. Elliott, president of the Board 
of Trustees, testified that Gossard had expected to be 
named president of the University in 1922 when Dr. 
Nelson retired. The president of the Y.M.C.A. admitted 
that he had expected the Board to choose Gossard for the 
post. 38 

Did Gossard still secretly nurture hopes of attaining 
the presidency after Crane was appointed? Certainly, 

As this page from the 1928 University of Wyo- 
ming yearbook shows, criticism ofR. O. T. C. was 
neither sophisticated nor sustained. 

Gossard's campaign of rumors and innuendo appears to 
have been undertaken in a direct attempt to discredit the 
Crane administration. Even more damning is the timing 
of The White Mule. It appeared on Easter morning, in early 
April of 1926. Only one week earlier, news had reached 
Laramie that Dr. Crane was being considered for the 
presidency of the University of Oregon. The probability 
that Crane considered accepting an offer from Oregon was 
given credence by the fact that he had requested only a 
one-year renewal of his contract with the Board of Trustees, 
instead of the traditional three-year agreement. 39 The ap- 
pearance of the hastily written and copied White Mule one 
week later may have been designed to give Crane that push 
to accept the Oregon post, both by discrediting him in the 
eyes of the Board of Trustees and Laramie community and 
by simply making his position at the University so 
untenable that he would gladly accept another post. 


Door Two toirps. On,- in Uam-ulim- Ion, 
i„ an Artery Sn/.rmio. Crietl: "WW* ihi- his itb-tii 

itul -II ,.//, 

President Crane breaks up a petting party with, 
"You ought to go to First Street where you 

Crane also appears to have been deeply sensitive to 
charges of leniency in matters of student moral conduct. 
In the 1930s, he began an intensive program to stop stu- 
dent drinking which culminated in his appearance one 
night at a campus dance, the Engineering Ball, where he 
went from automobile to automobile unabashedly open- 
ing car doors in an attempt to catch students drinking and 
petting. Crane's behavior on this occasion was so out- 
landish that it attracted international attention. 43 During 
this episode, Crane supposedly shouted at one young 
co-ed he found in a car, "You come out here for all your 
drinking and petting. You ought to go to First Street 
[Laramie's Red Light District at the time] where you 
belong." 44 

At least in part, this transformation in Crane's behavior 
can be seen as a reaction to the controversies raised by 
Gossard and the lingering shadow cast by the professor's 
charges against the Crane administration. In his own mind, 
Gossard had doubtlessly convinced himself that he was 
only a reformer, trying to expunge all wrong-doing from 
the University campus. It seems that Gossard managed to 
cover his tracks so well that Crane never got absolute proof 
of his guilt— no confession, no direct statement by his 
friends implicating him, no handwriting or other evidence 
linking him directly. However, the two AAUP visitors ap- 
parently were convinced that his firing was justified 
because the AAUP did not censure the University of Wyo- 
ming for dismissing him. The combination of ruthless am- 
bition and fanaticism, combined in this man, served to 
create a series of unnecessary controversies which kept the 
University in an uproar throughout the 1920s, the impact 
of which continued to be felt long after the perpetrator had 

Crane, whether or not he was offered a job at Oregon, 
decided to stay at the University of Wyoming and con- 
tinued to serve as president until 1940. However, his subse- 
quent policies show the scars left by the attacks of Gossard 
and his cohorts. Crane remained a loyal supporter of the 
R.O.T.C. program and a fast friend of Major Daly, and he 
continually rebutted the charges of militarism in the 
speeches he made throughout the remainder of his 
presidency. 40 Nevertheless, by the late 1920s, mild criticism 
of the R.O.T.C. appeared in University of Wyoming publi- 
cations. For instance, an article in the June 6, 1929 Brand- 
ing Iron observed that "it seems grossly unfair to the 
students to force upon them something which they dislike, 
and something which does not adequately compensate 
them for the hours they spend." 41 Crane's sensitivity to 
this growing criticism as well as to the charges of militarism 
evoked by Gossard is apparent in his speeches to the stu- 
dent body throughout the 1930s in which he emphasized 
the academic freedom enjoyed by American, and parti- 
cularly Wyoming university students as compared with 
the militaristic atmosphere of European universities. 42 


1. Frederick Lewis Allen's spritely study of the 1920s entitled Only Yester- 
day (1931) which focuses on flasks, flappers, flagpole sitters— the more 
sensational aspects of the "Jazz Age" or "Roaring Twenties," is sug- 
gested by this essay. However, as David A. Shannon points out in 
Between The Wars: America, 1919-1941 (1979, p. 95), "we will do 
well to look beyond the flappers . . ."In this study, we will examine 
the confrontation which occurred between two men, both powerful 
figures at the University of Wyoming, and the national issues at the 
center of this battle. 

2. Testimony of Aven Nelson to the examining committee of the 
American Association of University Professors (A.A.U.P.), May 27, 
1927, President's Office Files, University of Wyoming (hereafter re- 
ferred to as P.O.F.), May 27, 1927. Professor M. J. Elrod of the Univer- 
sity of Montana and Professor Fred Morrow Fling of the University 
of Nebraska were appointed by the A.A.U.P. to investigate the 
dismissal of Professor Gossard from the University at his request in 
1927. See also, Crane to Fling, June 4, 1927 ajid Crane to Elrod, June 
7, 1927, P.O.F., A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 29, 1927. 
Nelson later resigned as Director of The Wyoming Wesley Founda- 
tion after receiving a three-page letter from Crane outlining Gossard's, 
Laury's, and French's activities. See Crane to Nelson, May 12, 1926 
and Nelson to French, Director of The Wyoming Wesley Foundation, 
May 14, 1926, P.O.F. 

3. Testimony of Thurman Arnold before the A.A.U.P. investigating com- 
mittee, May 30, 1927, P.O.F. 

4. Data from "Crane Personal File," P.O.F. See also Wilson O. Clough, 
A History of the University of Wyoming, 1887-1937 [N.P.], 1937, pp. 
137-138. A unique reception awaited Crane when he neared Laramie 
in 1922. Clough describes "a band of hard-riding, shooting, and yell- 
ing cowboy bandits in brightly colored shirts and neckerchiefs" who 
"ordered the new president from the car and threateningly escorted 
him to an old-fashioned stagecoach, in which Dr. Nelson appeared 
to be already captive. Thus the new president came to Laramie in 
pioneer style . . ." (p. 138). See also Daisy D. Robey, "President 
Arthur Griswold Crane," WPA Bio. 2225, Wyoming State Archives, 
Museums & Historical Department, Cheyenne. 

5. "Sherwood Eddy to Speak Here," The Branding Iron (March 25, 1924): 
1; and James H. Hawkes, "Antimilitarism at State Universities: The 
Campaign Against R.O.T.C, 1920-1940," Wisconsin Magazine of History 
LXIX (1965-66):43. 

6. A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 31, 1927. Eddy, noted 
pacifist, opposed the establishment of R.O.T.C. programs on college 

7. Testimony of W. H. Holliday, Trustee to A.A.U.P. Investigating Com- 
mittee, May 31, 1926, P.O.F. 

8. The White Mule Boomerang (N.D.). The name of this anonymous sheet 
and its lead paragraph pointedly referred to an outlawed drink, ' 'Only 

■ a fool fools with White Mule. None but Jackasses drink the Jackass 
brand." The White Mule also singled out four fraternities for censure, 
"A.T.O.'s, Kappa Sigs, Sig Alphs, and Sigma Nu's." 

9. Norman H. Clark, Deliver Us From Evil: An Interpretation of American 
Prohibition (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1976), pp. 136, 
154. Western Methodists, generally, sought zealously to expose 
drinkers as corruptors of public morals. 

10. Crane to Samson, April 10, 1926; Samson to Garnett, April 12, 1926; 
Samson to Crane, April 16, 1926; P.O.F. 

11. Crane interview with Davis, April 17, 1926, P.O.F. 

12. J. J. Marshall to Crane, April 29, 1926, P.O.F. 

13. Secretary of the Faculty Committee to Raymond Laury, May 12, 1926, 
P.O.F. See also The Branding Iron, April 29, 1926, April 27, 1926, and 
May 4, 1926. 

14. Crane to Marshall, May 1, 1926, P.O.F. 

15. James H. Hawkes, "Antimilitarism at State Universities: The Cam- 
paign Against Compulsory R.O.T.C, 1920-1940," Wisconsin Magazine 
of History XLIX (1965-1966): 41-54. See also The Wyoming State Tribune 

(April 27, 1943). Wyoming's enthusiasm for R.O.T.C. extended to 
the establishment of two voluntary companies of female cadets. See 
[Major Beverly C. Daly], "University of Wyoming Historical Sketch 
of the Military Department, 1891-1936," Office of the Dean of Men, 
August 5, 1936, Daly Bio. File, UW Archives, p. 10. Illustrating U.W.'s 
support of the R.O.T.C. was the award of "Distinguished College" 
rating by the War Department in 1923. 

16. Gene M. Lyons and John W. Masland, Education and Military Leader- 
ship: A Study of the R.O.T.C. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 
1959), p. 43. For Daly biographical material, see "Daly, Major B. C, 
Bio. File," University of Wyoming Archives. The Laramie Republican 
Boomerang, May 1, 1936, and April 28, 1943; The Branding Iron, April 
30, 1936; and The Wyoming Alumnews, June 1946. U.W. President Aven 
Nelson wrote to Senator John B. Kendrick on May 5, 1922 that, "We 
value our R.O.T.C. unit highly and would deplore any curtailment 
of its activities or of its ability to function as an effective unit of the 
national defense." And furthermore, Nelson observed, "we have par- 
ticularly valued Captain Daly as a member of this faculty, because 
of the admirable way in which he fits into this University commu- 
nity, . . ." Daly Bio. File, U.W. Archives. See Nelson to Daly, August 
14, 1922, U.W. Archives. 

17. Survey of Land Grant Colleges and Universities, U.S. Office of Educa- 
tion, Bulletin No. 9 (1930), p. 309. Percentages are based on Univer- 
sity of Wyoming R.O.T.C. enrollment statistics, 1921-1929. R.O.T.C. 
Enrollment, 1921-1936 (From Daly "... Historical sketch of the 
Military Department . . .") 

Basic Course 

Advanced Course 





































18. Ronald Schaffer, "The War Department's Defense of R.O.T.C, 
1920-1940," Wisconsin Magazine of History LII (1969-1970): 69. Also, 
James E. Pollard, Military Training in the Land-Grant Colleges: With 
Special Reference to the R.O.T.C. Program (The Ohio State University, 

19. The Branding Iron, November 5, 1925. See also, "Alumni Are Amazed 
by U.W. Gains," The Laramie Boomerang, January 27, 1927. Five 
members of the House of Representatives visited the campus and 
made complimentary remarks regarding Daly and the R.O.T.C. 

20. The C.M.E. was formed in New York in 1925 by individuals alarmed 
by what they viewed as a military mentality being formed in American 
society by the R.O.T.C. presence on college campuses. 

21. John Nevin Sayre, "The Atlas of Freedom, " The World Tomorrow, (Oc- 
tober 1926): 156-159; and "Watch Dogs," The New Student, vol. 6, 
no. 13, January 5, 1926. Daly retained in his files a typescript enti- 
tled "Information pertaining to the League for Industrial Democracy," 
A Few of the Most Active Leaders and Lecturers of the L.l.D. which la- 
beled the L.l.D. and John Nevin Sayre as "socialists." Daly Bio. File, 
U.W. Archives. 

22. Daly wrote a letter to Oswald Garrison Villard, the author of the ar- 
ticle, again refuting the charge that he censured speakers on cam- 
pus. Daly to Villard, October 3, 1928, P.O.F. See also Daly to Crane, 
May 28, 1927, P.O.F. 

23. "What the Blue Menace Means," Hatjvrs Magazine, October 1928. 
The R.O.T.C. came under sustained attack in the 1920s. See U.S. 


House of Representatives Committee on Military Affairs, "Abolish- 
ment of Compulsory Military Training at Schools and Colleges/' 
Washington, Government Printing Office, 1926. 

24. "Conference of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees 
and the President's Advisory Committee," April 21, 1926, P.O.F. 

25. "Wyoming Enters Conference Ranks," Wyoming Student, January 12, 

26. The Branding Iron, January 6, 1925. 

27. Gossard to members of the Board of Trustees, December 14, 1926, 
P.O.F. "An Open Letter to the Editor," from Gossard, March 11, 
1927, The Laramie Republican Boomerang, March 11, 1927. A.A.U.P. In- 
vestigating Committee, May 30, 1927, P.O.F. 

28. The Wyoming Eagle, January 7, 1927, and March 4, 1927. 

29. A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 29, 1927, P.O.F. 

30. Arnold to A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 30, 1927, P.O.F. 

31. The Wyoming Eagle, March 4, 1927. Editor-manager Tracy McCraken 
further reported in a letter to Crane that Laury, a Gossard "lieu- 
tenant" had cornered G. Ward Goodrich, a University graduate and 
member of the legislature from Platte County, and said some, "none 
too complimentary things" about Crane. P.O.F. Gossard allegedly 
characterized the campus as "a sink of vice and iniquity ..." Arnold 
to A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 30, 1927, p. 12. 

32. The Branding Iron, April 8, 1926. 

33. Thurman Arnold to A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 30, 1927, 
P.O.F. As mayor of Laramie, 1922-1924, Arnold put the onus of 
violating prohibition on the purchaser as well as the bootlegger. His 
biographer, Gene Gressley observes that, "For Laramie's elite this 
represented a unique and uncomfortable twist to their consciences." 
(21) Be that as it may, no zealous enforcement campaign ensued dur- 
ing Arnold's administration. Gene M. Gressley, Voltaire and the 
Cowboy, The Letters of Thurman Arnold (Boulder: Colorado Associated 
University Press, 1977). 

34. The A.A.U.P. investigated Gossard's dismissal upon his request since 
he believed he had been terminated without cause. See Fling to 
A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 30, 1927, P.O.F. 

35. The Branding Iron, April 8, 1926. See Clark, Deliver Us From Evil, pp. 
148, 152. 

36. Knight to A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 30, 1927, p. 30, 



P.O.F. and the President's Report to the Board of Trustees, 1926. Pro- 
fessor Gilbert related an incident when the head football coach al- 
legedly "knocked a bootlegger down the stairs" at a restaurant in 
Ogden, Utah. A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 30, 1927. 
Daly to Crane, May 28, 1927, Daly Papers, U.W. Archives. Daly 
asserted that "no speaker was excluded from this campus on account 
of 'liberal' or 'anti-military' views ..." 
Elliott to A.A.U.P. Investigating Committee, May 29, 1927, P.O.F. 

39. The Branding Iron, March 23, 1926. 

40. Crane corresponded at length and made a personal visit to the 
Secretary of War Dwight F. Davis in late 1928 hoping to retain Daly 
as commandant at U.W. after a War Department decision to replace 
retired officers with commissioned officers in 1927. Crane to Davis, 
November 30, 1928, Daly Bio. File, U.W. Archives. See also C. B. 
Robbins (Acting Secretary of War) to Crane, December 5, 1928. 

41. See illustration of 1928 Wyo. 

42. The Branding Iron, September 22, 1938. Crane's continued support 
for the R.O.T.C. found widest circulation in his reports as Chairman 
of the Committee on Military Organization and Policy for the Associa- 
tion of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities. See Proceedings of the 
Forty-Fourth Annual Convention . . . Washington, D.C., November 
17-19, 1930, pp. 468-69; Proceedings of the Forty-Sixth Annual Conven- 
tion . . . Washington, D.C., November 14-16, 1932; and Proceedings 
of the Forty-Seventh Annual Convention . . . Chicago, Illinois, November 
13-15, 1933, pp. 239-240. 

43. Crane expressed concern for students in the letters he wrote to their 
parents following a drinking infraction. For example, to J. J. Marshall 
he wrote, "I am trying to help the boy." Crane to Marshall, May 
8, 1926, P.O.F. To illustrate his concern that one indiscretion not mar 
a student's future, Crane allowed first-time offenders to remain at 
the University under academic probation. A second offense, however, 
resulted in the student's expulsion. 

The Branding Iron, November 11, 1983. See Robert Cooley Ingell. The 
Campus: A Study of Contemporary Undergraduate Life in the American 
University (New York: D. Appleton Company, 1928), pp. 161, 169, 
221. University of Wyoming women assumed a more vocal asser- 
tiveness in the mid-1920s. See The Curling Iron (a special issue of The 
Branding Iron), April 13, 1926. 



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An Excerpt from 

the Diary of 

Elias W* Whitcomb 


-* |jfc\5\5\5\5\5\5\5\5\5\5l5\5\5\^^ 




Elias W. Whitcomb was one of Wyoming's earliest per- 
manent settlers, arriving at Fort Laramie in 1857 and re- 
maining a resident of what would become the Equality 
State until his death in 1915. Like many young men in the 
mid-19th century, Whitcomb found the lure of the 
American West irresistible. It was here that he established 
himself as an admired, honored and respected member of 
several Wyoming communities. 

Born in Worcester County, Massachusetts in 1833, he 
appears to have enjoyed the benefits of a good education 
and a genteel upbringing. By 1857, he had made his way 
to Westport, Missouri where he signed on to assist in driv- 
ing an ox team of wagons bearing consumer goods to the 
ready markets in New Mexico. Until it had been opened 
to trade with the United States after the Mexican War, pro- 
vincial New Mexico had only been allowed to trade with 
the mother country, Spain. The residents were virtually 
starved for such commodities as cloth, nails, pots, pans, 
hand tools and other like items. 

Whitcomb then made his way to Leavenworth, Kan- 
sas, where he embarked for pre-territorial Wyoming. With 
him was another pioneer, Hiram B. (Hi) Kelly. He was to 
remain lifelong friends with Kelly, whose personal life and 
career were in some ways a mirror of Whitcomb's. 

The adventurous pair transported goods of merchan- 
dise and herds of work cattle to Fort Laramie and arrived 
in November of 1857. Whitcomb then entered the employ 
of the famed Russell, Majors and Waddell who were trans- 
continental freighters, stage line owners and reckless en- 
trepreneurs. His main responsibility was the care of about 
1,200 work cattle pastured along Sybille, Chug, Horse and 
Bear Creeks. It should be remembered that these were 
oxen, not the blooded Herefords that would be introduced 
to Wyoming some years later. Still, this was the beginning 
of the livestock industry in a state that was to become 
famous for its cattle ranching image. 

The young capitalist also set to work establishing 
himself as a trader. He prospered in this endeavor and 
eventually founded one of the largest mercantile businesses 
in Cheyenne— the Whitcomb and Cowgill Dry Goods store. 
The firm's financial success insured Whitcomb's reputa- 
tion as a shrewd businessman. 


Concurrent with his career as a merchant prince, Whit- 
comb was devoting much of his time and energy to the 
introduction of feed cattle to Wyoming. He launched his 
ranching enterprise in 1866, the first year Texans began 
driving cattle north. Needing a good base of operation, he 
made a homestead entry on some land near Crow Creek, 
seven miles from Cheyenne. In doing this, he became one 
of the first independent landowners in Wyoming. 

Apparently, Whitcomb had a marvelous sense of 
timing as well as astute business sense. When the livestock 
boom of the 1880s was at its peak, he sold a majority of 
his holdings to the Swan Land and Cattle Company for a 
quarter of a million dollars. This was no mean sum in that 
decade of the 19th century. Unfortunately his peers Alex- 
ander Swan and Hi Kelly were not so canny. The blizzard 
of 1886-1887 spelled ruin for them. They, along with other 
ranchers in the area, were bankrupted by that tragic 

Whitcomb had made time to marry and establish a 
family. On February 15, 1865, he took as his bride, Kath- 
erine Shaw, the daughter of a Scottish trader and Sioux 
woman. It is said to have taken Kate Shaw some time to 
adjust to her white husband's ways, and at one time left 
Whitcomb in Cheyenne to return to her tribe in the Fort 
Laramie area. The distraught man hired a tutor and eventu- 
ally his wife became reconciled to the social amenities and 
customs of the territorial capital. She dressed in the most 
fashionable attire and was said to be a particularly gracious 
and competent hostess. 

The Whitcombs built an impressive frame home on 
present day Carey Avenue in Cheyenne. Originally named 
Ferguson for a Union Pacific surveyor, its soubriquet was 
"Cattlemen's Row." The street boasted the homes of such 
early day luminaries as Joseph Maul Carey, Max Idelman, 
David D. Dare, Henry Hay, Luke Voorhees and Whit- 
comb's old friend Hi Kelly. 

It is interesting to note that Kelly's life had paralleled 
Whitcomb's to a degree. He married Elizabeth Richard, the 
half Sioux daughter of a Fort Laramie trader who, like Kate 
Shaw Whitcomb, was a respected member of early Wyo- 
ming Society. He built an impressive Victorian house on 
Ferguson, across the way from the Whitcombs and enter- 




£//flS Whitcomb, in long beard with his parents and Wilson Whitcomb 


tained with elegance and grace. His business investments, 
however, had not been as perspicacious and diverse as 
Whitcomb's and the blizzard of 1886-1887 was probably 
his financial end. Kelly never altogether recovered his for- 
tune and he became one of the statistics produced by the 
storm and by cattle ranching short-sightedness of the late 

Whitcomb continued to prosper and eventually had 
fair sized holdings in the Devils Tower and Belle Fourche 
area of northeastern Wyoming. He lived to his 80s and was 
killed by lightning while riding a favored horse, "Ship 
Wheel" at his Devils Tower ranch. To the end, he was 
respected in all areas and it was said, an exceptionally fine 
figure on horseback. 

The following article is from a typed transcript of part 
of a diary left by Whitcomb. The transcript is in the Works 
Progress Administration Collection compiled in the De- 
pression of the 1930s. The total material was gathered for 
the purpose of publishing Wyoming, A Guide to Its History, 
Highways and People. As indicated in the title, the original 
document was made available for copy in 1906 when Whit- 
comb was still alive. The location and final disposition of 
the original diary is not known. A hand written and dated 
note attached to the WPA transcript asks the tantalizing 
question, "Where is the original— 2/13/39." One can only 

Any irregularities in spelling and punctuation in this 
article are as found in the original transcript. 

As Given by Mr. Whitcomb to His Daughter, Mrs. E. J. Rivenburg 

Moorcroft, Wyoming, in 1906 

I left Westport, Missouri, the middle of May, 1857, hav- 
ing entered the employ of Childs Brothers to drive an ox 
team to the then unknown region of New Mexico. We went 
as far as Las Vegas, the trip covering from May until the 
last of August. Our train contained about twenty wagons 
and twenty-three men. Wages were very low that season, 
being about twenty dollars per month. Buffalo covered the 
plains, myriads of them; old hands along with the train 
said they had never seen them in such numbers before. 
We were obliged to send men ahead of the train to clear 
the track. We estimated that at a single view we could see 
a hundred thousand; also saw a white one, which is highly 
prized by the Indians. They called it the Medicine Buffalo; 
and would have willingly given a horse for the hide. 

We met a good many Indians, principally Comanches, 
on the Arkansas River, where they were waiting to receive 
ammunition from the Government, and having waited for 
some time were impatient and threatened to take us in on 
our return trip. They had with them a Mexican interpreter 
who had been stolen when a child, and who conversed 
with us. 

Upon our return, however, we saw but few Indians. 
I imagine that they feared us, as three trains traveling 
together usually deterred them. The Cheyennes were very 
troublesome and Colonel Sumner's command was sent out 
to quell them. A few days before we returned, they had 
attacked a small train and killed all on board. We found 
four of the dead, and one still living with seven arrows 
sticking in him and he was completely scalped. 

We returned to Leavenworth, Kansas, and one little 


incident will indicate as to whether we enjoyed ourselves 
on these trips. Upon leaving Westport, in May, I purchased 
a pair of shoes and a pair of boots, which I expected to 
wear me the round trip. Some of the boys offered to bet 
me a new hat that I would be obliged to purchase a new 
pair before the trip was completed. I insisted that I would 
buy no footwear during the trip. We had been on the road 
but a short time when one of the boys wished to borrow 
my boots because his were giving him trouble. We were 
making a night drive, and he found that mine hurt his feet 
as much as his own; therefore, he took them off and threw 
them on the load and some time later one was lost. By this 
time my shoes were worn out; consequently, to keep my 
word and win the hat, I concluded to walk. From Fort 
Union, New Mexico, behold me walking barefooted to 
Leavenworth, Kansas, over prickly pear, stopping every 
little while to pull a bunch of them from my pedal ex- 
tremities, which became so toughened that the knocking 
off of a toenail on a stone ceased to trouble me. I am glad 
to state that I got the hat, although the price was a 
thousand-mile barefooted walk. 

Upon arriving at Leavenworth, which was at that time 
a military post and general western outfitting point, we 
loaded with freight for Fort Laramie. That fall was an ex- 
tremely rainy one and our progress on the road was neces- 
sarily very slow. When out about three days we were over- 
taken by a mule train bound for Salt Lake. They very gaily 
bade us goodbye, saying as they passed that they would 
see us on their return in the spring. We plodded on over 
the rough trails and on the 7th of November arrived at Fort 

Fort Laramie, where Whitcomb wintered in 1857. While remote and isolated, it offered shelter and some of the niceties of 

Laramie with our cattle in rather poor condition, but hav- 
ing proved their superior endurance to the mule outfit, 
which we passed on the road. The mules were completely 
worn out when some three weeks later they arrived at the 
Fort. I neglected to mention that my friend, Mr. H. B. 
Kelly, was with the mule train. 

We went into camp on Bear Creek. In a few days there 
came a very heavy fall of snow and when we awoke in 
the morning our blankets were entirely covered. The 
weather turned bitterly cold, followed by the deepest snow 
and coldest weather of the winter of 1857. We lost about 
twenty head of our best cattle, which were very thin when 
we arrived and consequently were unable to endure the 
severity of the weather, although those that pulled through 
until spring made very good beef. 

At this time there were no white settlers, excepting at 
the few trading posts on the old California emigrant route. 
Our intercourse and correspondence with our friends at 
home were very limited, there being but a monthly mail. 
When the papers arrived they were read and re-read with 
eager interest until they were completely worn out. We 
lived, during the winter, at Fort Laramie among the In- 
dians, of whom there were large numbers, all friendly. On 
April 28, 1858, we received orders to load and pull for Fort 
Douglas, Utah. Our orders came earlier than we expected 
owing to the anticipated Mormon troubles. We started 
three trains under Colonel Hoffman's command with sup- 

plies for Johnston's command and arrived at La Bonte Creek 
May 2nd, where we encountered a heavy snow fall two 
feet deep, the deepest and dampest I have ever seen in 
the territory at one time. We laid up one day on account 
of the storm, but on the second day Colonel Hoffman, be- 
cause of his anxiety to reach our destination, gave orders 
for us to proceed on our way regardless of the condition 
of the roads. Our wagonmaster seriously objected to at- 
tempting to carry out this order and seriously remonstrated 
with the Colonel, but to no avail. The warm weather was 
melting the snow so rapidly that even the sand hollows 
were filled, while the small creeks were swollen to the size 
of rivers. The little creek of Wagon Hound, whose bed is 
perfectly dry in the summer, was so swollen that in under- 
taking to ford it with a four-mule ambulance all the animals 
were drowned. The roads were in terrible condition, the 
wagons making only one and one-half miles a day, and 
it was not necessary to corral the remainder of the animals 
at night. The colonel, seeing that we could make but little 
headway, allowed the wagon boss to use his own judg- 
ment, stating that he guessed he understood the condi- 
tions better than he, so we layed over another day while 
the colonel pushed on, leaving a company of soldiers as 
escort and for protection against the Mormons. 

We reached Fort Douglas safely in June, not being 
molested by the Mormons, with whom the Government 
had concluded a settlement. 


We immediately returned to Leavenworth, reaching 
there in August, and "loaded out" for Fort Laramie. On 
this, my second trip, I was in the employ of Majors, Russell 
and Waddell, the largest Government freighting contrac- 
tors in the United States. 

I passed the second winter in Fort Laramie in about 
the same manner as the previous one. The following sum- 
mer, I was still in the employ of the same company and 
suring the inter of 1859 was placed in charge of all work 
cattle, having about twelve hundred head scattered up and 
sown the creeks (Sybille, Horse, Chug and Bear Creeks). 
It must be bourn in mind that at this time there were no 
cattle in the country excepting work cattle and a few to 
supply the trains with beef. The immense herds that later 
came to this country were driven in from the south or east 
after 1864 and 1865. In those days three men were allowed 
to each herd, composed of three hundred head, and the 
herding was done on foot, although we usually had a mule 
in camp which was owned by the wagonmaster; conse- 
quently, the cowmen had to walk. 

One incident of that winter is still very fresh in my 
memory. Some of our cattle had strayed away. Taking a 
Mexican with me, I started out to hunt them. The day was 
fine and we left without taking our overcoats. Gloves were 
too expensive a luxury for us, as the common buckskin 
gloves were five dollars a pair. We discovered the trail of 
the cattle and overtook them on the evening of the second 
day. By this time the weather had changed and a heavy 
snow storm followed. We turned the cattle toward the 
camp and at dark camped for the night without fire or food. 
We were busy most of the night "holding" the cattle. The 
next day the storm had not abated and it turned bitterly 
cold. The Mexican kicked some snow away, dug a hole in 
the ground with his knife and we cuddled into it, cover- 
ing ourselves with one saddle blanket, and prepared to 
pass the night. On awakening, we found that the cattle 
had vamoosed. We were hungry and tired, a long way 
from home, and our hands and feet were frozen. The only 
thing to do was to get to camp and grub as soon as possi- 
ble. Fighting every inch of the way through the storm, we 
arrived at camp at midnight, having been four days and 
three nights without food or very little rest. 

With the exception of the storm just mentioned, we 
had a very fine winter. Antelope were very numerous. One 
could go out in any direction and see from a dozen to five 
hundred in a band. Our principal meat was antelope and 

During the summer of 1859 there was quite a heavy 
emigration, whose destination on leaving the East was 
California, Oregon or Washington, but having changed 
their minds, they went up the Chug, crossing Pole Creek 
near Larman's ranch close to Fort Walbach (a military post 
which was established in 1858 and abandoned the year 
following), thence crossing Crow Creek about sixteen miles 
above the present site of Cheyenne and thence to Denver. 

This season the mails were changed from monthly to 
semi-monthly and we considered ourselves the most 
favored of mortals. 

At this time, I severed my connection with the freight- 
ing company and entered the trading business, on my own 
account, with the emigrants, whose numbers were increas- 
ing and most of whom were Mormons. Some of these Mor- 
mon trains were composed of hand carts, a fifty mule-team 
to carry the heavier articles. Many of these emigrant trains 
had with them large numbers of cattle, some of which were 
fine bred, these being the original bunches from which 
sprung our fine vast herds which have since made this a 
famous cattle country. • 

// . . . the noted Alfred Slade came 
into the country . . . During the 
winter he began to evince the de- 
moniacal disposition which finally 
brought him to the gallows/' 

The fall of 1860 is memorable as the time that the noted 
Alfred Slade came in to the country as Division Superinten- 
dent of Mail Lines, his division extending from Julesburg 
to Salt Lake. We then received our mail every week. Dur- 
ing the winter he began to evince the demoniacal dispos- 
tion which finally brought him to the gallows. The first 
display of it was the murder of a teamster who refused to 
obey an order he was given. 

In the spring of 1861, a tri- weekly mail was established 
and in the fall of the same year a daily mail and pony ex- 
press was established, the stations being about twelve 
miles apart. Each rider was required to make about fifty 
miles a day. 

A desparate affair occurred that winter at Slade's in- 
stigation. A Mexican and an American who were in the 
employ of the United States Mail Service had a quarrel at 
La Bonte's ranch, during which the Mexican killed the 
American and then escaped to the road ranch of John 
Sarah, located on the Bitter Cottonwood. Slade sent word 
to Sarah to order the Mexican away. Sarah replied that he 
was keeping a road ranch and did not propose to send any 
person away who paid for his entertainment. Again Slade 
advised Sarah to get rid of the Mexican, but to no purpose. 
In a few nights as coach load of Mail Agents drove up to 
Sarah's door. Calling him out, they began shooting. They 
killed Sarah, his wife (an Indian woman), an Indian who 
was visiting Sarah, and an old Frenchman by the name 
of Lonnel. A man named Winters, who was a guest, made 


his escape, ran all the way to Fort Laramie, a distance of 
twenty-five miles, and reported the story of the massacre 
to the military authorities. Immediate reparation was 
demanded, but without avail, as no effort whatever was 
made to apprehend the murderers. 

Sarah's family consisted of four children, whose ages 
were respectively twelve, eight, five, and a baby a few 
months old. The two eldest were girls and so was the baby. 
The eldest girl, with the baby on her back, and the other 
sister by her side, climbed out of a rear window, escaping 
to the prairie. A few weeks later, the poor unfortunates' 
remains were found where they died of exposure. The boy, 
who got separated from his sister after the affair, was found 
by the men in the coach and taken to the stage station. 
He was finally adopted by Slade and was taken with him 
when he left the country. After Slade was hanged at 
Virginia City, Montana, Mrs. Slade brought the boy, who 
was about thirteen years old, to Denver, and that was the 
last I heard of him. 

In the spring of 1861, I went to Horse Shoe Creek to 
live (Slade's headquarters). The mail employees carried 
things pretty high. Two Men, E. Coffee and Cuney, who 
had a ranch about nine miles from Fort Laramie, and Frank 
McCarty, an employee of the mail company, had gone 
down from Slade's to Coffee's, and, being intoxicated, 
became very boisterous and abusive, shooting holes 
through many of the decorations hanging on the walls of 
the road ranch. McCarty fancied he had some grievance 
with Coffee and proceeded to square it by shooting Cof- 
fee's father. The bullet struck the old man back of the ear 
and ran around the scalp. The old man fell on his face, 
and McCarty remarked casually that he guessed the old 
no account wasn't hurt much, and sprang into the coach 
and rode to the Post, where he fired a shot or two at the 
Stars and Stripes at the Sutler's store, calling it "Uncle 
Sam's handerchief". He departed without being molested 
by the sworn guardians of our flag. The commanding of- 
ficer came out after McCarty was at a safe distance, and 
ordered the guard to arrest him if they could find him. This 
indicates to a small degree the laxity of the military and 
the lawless character of some of the civilians, especially 
the average employee of the stage company. 

Sometimes the drivers of the coaches, when on a 
spree, would take fiendish delight in scaring the passen- 
gers by tying the lines to the lamp post, putting the whip 
to the horses until they were going at breakneck speed up 
and down hill, bumping across gulches, while the passen- 
gers were fighting to hold to their seats and stay in the 

So far as my personal experiences with Slade were con- 
cerned, I found him a good neighbor, he being one of those 
characters who, if he takes a liking to you, would do 
anything in his power for you, but on the other hand, if 
he had formed a dislike for you, and he should happen 
to be under the influence of liquor, you were sure to have 

trouble with him. 

At this time, I was running a trading store, having a 
stock of groceries, liquors, and a few articles of clothing. 
Slade often came to my place to play cards and sometimes 
imbibed too freely; consequently, Mrs. Slade conceived the 
idea of getting me out of the way, for she thought that if 
Slade had to go farther for his whisky she would have 
fewer quarrels with him. At this time, Slade had gone to 
Tulesburg, so the men were left in care of the station and 
had full sway. Therefore they proceeded to get on a glor- 
ious drunk, and when in this condition, at Mrs. Slade's 
suggestion, they proposed to clean me out. McCarty, with 
eight or ten liquor-crazed men, started to carry out her 
designs. One of the men, however, got away and im- 
mediately warned me of my danger. This man, and also 
one in my employ were terribly frightened and they 
besought me to fly. The former was afraid of his comrades, 
the latter for his life. We threw our overcoats over our arms 
and struck for the brush. 

My house was burned to the ground, I thus losing all 
of my earthly possessions, excepting a few horses and cat- 
tle which were grazing up the creek about twenty-five 
miles. We walked about ten miles that night and crawled 
into a thicket of cherry bushes and, with our overcoats over 
us, lay down to sleep. In the morning our covering was 
six inches thicker, for snow had fallen during the night. 
About three o'clock in the afternoon of the day following, 
we arrived at my camp on Bitter Cottonwood. I was not 
ready to begin life again after having lost about four thou- 
sand dollars — a sum which in those days was considered 
large. All that was saved of the stock at the trading store 
was two half barrels of whisky and so the head of one bar- 
rel was knocked in and a cup hung on it and every person 
was obliged to drink. The other was emtied into the well, 
for the boys declared that they meant to have a never fail- 
ing supply. 

' 'She was forced to arm herself with 
a pistol, and going to the barrel of 
whiskey, upset it threatening to 
shoot the first man who approached 

By this time some forty men were assembled about the 
station drinking, carousing, and, in fact, ready for any wild 
or bloody work, so when it was suggested to burn the sta- 
tion, one drunken brute seized a fire brand and started for 
the hay stacks, which were connected with the stables and 
other outbuildings. The telegraph lines had been erected 
that fall by Ed Creighton, and Mrs. Slade, who was by this 
time badly scared, wired Slade the condition of affairs, ask- 


T=I==T=1=^=J=^=X=T= J==T=1=^==I==T==1==T=^^ 

7r - 1T( , rf ^^ tTrt . tTfrTtTrri . tTrT f . j^^.^ppj^ 

Some years after his adventures in the Fort Laramie area, Whitcomb built an im- 
pressive mansion on Cattleman's Row in Cheyenne. At one time, a whale skeleton in 
the yard amused neighborhood children. 

Whitcomb with son Hal, on the left and granddaughter Marjorie Badgette on the 



Katherine Shaw Whitcomb left, 
and her daughter May, below, 
were photographed in about 
1875 in their elegant Victorian 
attire. The Whitcomb Family 
enjoyed a gracious lifestyle 
thanks to Elias' success in 


ing him to make all possible haste in returning, as they 
had burned me out and were about to fire the station. She 
was forced to arm herself with a pistol, and going to the 
barrel of whiskey, upset it, threatening to shoot the first 
man who approached her. This determined action on her 
part immediately put a damper on the enthusiasm of the 

Slade did not return until the boys recovered from their 
spree. McCarty, their leader, was much alarmed at what 
they had done and threatened to kill Slade. Indeed, for 
several days, he met every coach armed with a shotgun, 
expecting to kill him as he got off. When the boys became 
sober, they were extremely penitent. McCarty promised 
me that thereafter all the money he could scrape together 
would be paid to me until I recovered my losses. My books 
and accounts being destroyed in the fire, and as the men 
were only paid once or twice a year, they forgot their prom- 
ises. Consequently, I received very little money from them. 

". . . the same gang of men under the 
leadership of McCarty committed another 
depredation at Mud Spring, . . ." 

I was in debt to the sutler for about one thousand 
dollars for supplies. I offered him what stock I had left, 
but he refused, stating that I could make more by keeping 
them than he, and that I could pay the debt when I was 
in better circumstances. By the next June, I had cleared off 
this debt and had something to the good. 

When Slade arrived and heard of the treatment I had 
received from his men, he was very indignant. He sent for 
me and talked the matter over. As a result, he discharged 
every man who was implicated in the affair and offered 
to help me in any way he could. I prevailed upon him to 
withdraw his order to discharge the men, as I considered 
their discharge would do me no good and do them much 
harm. Therefore, he retained them in his employ on con- 
dition that in the future they be on their good behavior. 
Slade never knew of his wife's agency in the affair unless 
she acknowledged it. 

That winter the same gang of men under the leader- 
ship of McCarty committed another depredation at Mud 
Springs, the first station out of Julesburg. Two freighters, 
with wagons loaded with whisky for supplying the ranches 
and trading stores along the route, had gone into camp 
at Mud Springs. The boys struck Mud Springs, the camp, 
and after drinking pretty freely were ready for action. They 
first drove the men from camp, cutting the spokes of the 
wheels to prevent the wagons from being moved. The 
freighters had gone for another wagon and while they were 
absent, they stole and secreted all the liquor. 


To show what desperate and daring men many of 
these stage drivers were, I will relate a little incident that 
came under my observation. Bob Walker, a driver, com- 
ing into Horse Creek Station, found that the team he was 
to drive had strayed and could not be found. There were 
six wild bronchos at the station and he ordered them 
hitched to the coach. When they were harnessed, he 
climbed to the seat and shouted, "Let 'em go." The men 
sprang out of the road and he laid on the whip and the 
bronchos bounded off on the run. They ran the entire 
distance to Scott's Bluff. On their arrival, they were well 
broken to harness. Fortunately, there were no passengers 
aboard. , 

The eastern stopping point of Slade's division was 
Julesburg. At this place there was a road station kept by 
a Frenchman named Jules for whom the station was 
named. Slade and Jules had some difficulty regarding 
stock, but had arrived at an understanding which Slade 
supposed was settled amicably. The boys were then in the 
habit of playing cards for canned fruits, oysters and other 
supplies, it being the only way they had of getting them. 
The next time Slade came down he proposed a game for 
the oysters. Just as he stepped to the door, "Jule" leveled 
a double barrel shotgun at him and fired. Slade fell and 
Jule, supposing he had killed him, said, "there are some 
blankets and a box, you can make him a coffin if you like." 
Strange to say, Slade was not dead, and after he revived 
a little was taken to Denver for medical treatment. Jule was 
so afraid of being shot or hanged, that he fled that night. 

Jule had a man at Wagon Hound Creek trading with 
emigrants, and the next summer he went up to see him. 
Crossing to the north side of the Platte River, he came 
down the river until opposite Cold Springs station, kept 
by a Frenchman named Shosaix. Crossing the river again, 
he stopped at the station, where Slade had three men 
watching for Jule. They were mounted on mules and Jule, 
being suspicious, counted his horse and rode away. 
Overhearing the men ask Shosaix if he had seen any 
mules, he was thrown off his guard, returned and dis- 
mounted. Instantly, he was covered with shotguns and 
ordered to surrender. He started to run and was shot in 
the hip and relieved of his gun; then he crawled into a hole 
back of the house, was followed and compelled to sur- 
render. He was bound hand and foot, and a courier was 
sent to get Slade. When Slade arrived he talked to him 
awhile, stating that he could kill him if he chose, Jule all 
the time begging for his miserable life and a chance to see 
his wife. But Slade replied, "when you shot me, you gave 
me no chance to see my wife, brutally trying to murder 
me without any chance to defend myself, so now, take 
your medicine." Jules was ordered to stand up against a 
post, and Slade told him that he was going to see how near 
he could shoot without hitting him. Slade fired several 
shots which grazed his hair and struck on either side of 
his head. Finally, he told him he would wound him, and 

shot him in the mouth. He fell, and Slade ordered him to 
get up, saying he was not dead and if he did not rise, he 
Would cut off his ears. Jules finally rose and Slade, after 
cruelly tantilizing him a little longer, remarked, "now I am 
going to give you a center shot, so hold still", and shot 
him between the eyes. Jules fell dead and Slade cut off his 
ears, and at the same time said to the boys, "you needn't 
get any blankets or box for him, just dig a hole and chuck 
him in, as you would a dog." Slade carried the ears with 
him for several days, asking those he met if they would 
like some "souse". 

In the summer of 1862, the mail route was changed 
from the North Platte to the South Platte and run by the 
way of Denver. The men and stock were moved to the new 
route and Slade established himself In the northern part 
of Colorado, in the foothills, and named the place Virginia 
Dale. In the spring of 1865, Slade left Virginia Dale and 
went to Virginia City, Montana, where he spent most of 
his time drinking and gambling. One day, having brutally 
pounded a man, he rode his horse into the Court House 
and adjourned court by firing his pistol promiscuously, 
escaping to his home, which was several miles out of town. 
The citizens were so incensed by this affair that they 
ordered a strict watch kept for him and when he came back 
a few days later he was captured and hanged. He begged 
for his life, asked to see his wife, and promised if they 
would let him go he would leave the country in any man- 
ner—on foot, horseback, or by wagon, but all to no pur- 
pose. Thus ended the life of one of the most desperate men 
of that or any other time. 

The next year, the Indians began to be troublesome, 
running off stock and committing numerous depredations. 
I had a band of seventeen horses running on the range near 
my place, one of which I had in use. The rest were all stolen 
by the Indians, causing me a loss of fifteen hundred dol- 
lars. In 1865, they became very hostile, running off a large 
number of stock and killing several emigrants. They also 
stole eight hundred head of cattle belonging to Ed Creigh- 
ton from his range on Mud Creek. 

I spent the winter of 1864 on the Sybille, and in the 
spring of 1865, moved to Fort Halleck. The Indians were 
becoming more and more troublesome and finally killed 
five soldiers who were guarding the mail line at Piney Sta- 
tion. Captain Umperville and their remains brought to the 
Post for burial. They killed a sergeant at Medicine Bow, 
where they had a squad of ten or twelve soldiers on guard. 

They also attacked a government train loaded with 
bacon, escorted by a small squad of cavalry. On the ap- 
pearance of the Indians, the soldiers deserted the teamster, 
whom the Indians bound to the wheel with halter chains, 
and then fired the outfit. 

A couple of men named Bob Foote and Ekler had set- 
tled on a little creek north of Rock Creek, and had become 
alarmed at the hostility of the Indians, and joined an 
emigrant train en route to Fort Halleck. They were attacked 

by a large band of Indians, and but for the bravery of Foote, 
the whole party would have been massacred. The emi- 
grants were very much excited and wanted to fly. Foote 
persauaded them to corral the stock inside the wagon cir- 
cle and in this manner attempt to defend themselves. They 
succeeded repulsing the Indians, but not until they had 
cut off one wagon containing a woman and several chil- 
dren. They scalped the woman, cut her into pieces, and 
carried off the children, one a little girl of ten, to captivity. 

The officers at Fort Halleck had a colored servant who 
one day attacked a young white girl. He tried to make his 
escape, but was overtaken and killed by the soldiers, who 
skinned him and tacked the hide on the side of the 
hospital, where it remained the rest of the summer. 

Another little incident will serve to illustrate how the 
monotony of our lives was varied. A man named Russel, 
keeper of a boarding house near Fort Halleck, had trouble 
with a man named Jennings. Jennings lay in ambush for 
Russel and shot him from a thicket as he was getting on 
the stage and then made his escape. His capture was ef- 
fected by a man disguised as an Arapahoe Indian, accom- 
panied by several members of the above tribe. He was tried 
by court martial and condemned to be hanged. At the Post 
was a rude apparatus used for weighing articles of mer- 
chandise, simply a forked stick set in the ground with a 
long pine pole used as a lever. In this instance the pole 
was eighty feet in length, weighted at the butt end with 
log chains; and fastened to the other end was a rope forty 
feet long, the end of which was looped around Jenning's 
neck. He was asked if he wished to say anything. He de- 
fiantly replied that if he had the same opportunity, he 
would improve it in the same manner, then hurrahed for 
Jeff Davis and the Confederacy. The officer instantly gave 
the signal. The heavily weighted pole sprang up with such 
force that Jenning's body was thrown the entire length of 
the rope, breaking his neck. 

'The Indians took all the sugar and cof- 
fee and scattered the rest over the ground. 
My potatoes were frozen and my cattle 
scattered . . . the potatoes would have 
brought me twenty-five cents a pound at 
Fort Laramie." 

In the fall of 1865, I moved to the Cache La Poudre, 
wintering there, and made my first venture in Texas cattle. 

Potatoes were scarce and I bought twelve thousand 
pounds at seven cents in the cellar, and, having six tour- 
yoke teams, took the to Fort Laramie and hauled wood for 
the Government at ten dollars per dav while there. 


The spring of 1866 was about the first season they com- 
menced to drive the Texas cattle north, and quite a number 
were brought in that year. We came by way of Chalk Bluffs 
to Pole Creek. The train was met by Indians, and the men 
deserted the outfit which was loaded with coffee, flour, 
beans, sugar and bacon, as winter supplies for the men, 
besides the twelve thousand pounds of potatoes. The In- 
dians took all the sugar and coffee and scattered the rest 
over the ground. My potatoes were frozen and my cattle 
scattered. It took me ten days to recover the cattle and 
wagons, but I lost the stock of provisions and my entire 
winter's work. The potatoes would have brought me 
twenty-five cents a pound at Fort Laramie. 

In 1866 and 1867 the Indians were very troublesome, 
raiding through the country. Texas cattle began to come 
in large numbers. I was so afraid of losing horses by the 
Indians that I kept but seven, and they were later taken 
by the Indians. 

In 1868, the Indians became worse than ever. They 
made several raids, stole about twelve head of horses and 
ran off a bunch of cattle. We found where they had 
butchered them and taken them away to dry. 

In the spring, I ordered a couple of men up into the 
canyon to cut some poles, giving each a horse and instruct- 
ing them to carry their guns to protect themselves against 
the Indians. They had completed loading the poles and 
were ready to return, when one of the men decided to go 
up on a high ridge to reconnoitre. He saw Indians coming 
and, running back, mounted his horse before letting his 
companion know they were upon them. Shots were ex- 
changed, but they arrived home safely. In the evening, the 
oxen came home; one yoke having gone over a bank fif- 
teen feet high, but they were not hurt; however, the other 
yoke were so badly wounded from lances that they soon 
after died. 

July of the same year, the Indians were so hostile that 
I left my ranch and went to La Porte, remaining there a 
month, then deciding it would be safe to return, as the 
Union Pacific Railroad was then being pushed with great 
rapidity, Cheyenne having been established, and the force 
of men being quite large. I arrived at the ranch on the first 
of August, and the very next- day, the Indians made 

another raid. We were making hay up the canyon when 
three men who were quite a distance above us were at- 
tacked and followed about three miles. Fearing some harm 
might befall my family at the ranch, I counted my pony 
and, accompanied by a man named Rooks, gave chase. The 
Indians separated, and one, finding that we were press- 
ing him too hard, deserted his mount, taking refuge in a 
small ravine. We rode to a rise about fifty feet above, and 
Rooks went on to the head of the canyon, while I jumped 
around, yelling in true Indian style, trying to induce the 
red-skin to come out in the open. The first thing I knew, 
he had me under his gun and I jumped for cover. In the 
meantime, Rooks, who had a Spencer carbine, was snap- 
ping his gun with no results. I inquired the reason, and 
he replied that it was defective cartridges. I finally heard 
a sharp report and Rooks, reeling, fell to the ground. I 
rushed to his aid and found that the blood was streaming 
from a wound in his shoulder. I aided him to mount his 
horse and kept my eyes on the place where the Indian had 
last been seen, but he had disappeared. The bullet had, 
fortunately, broken no bones, and we rode as quickly as 
we could to the ranch. On our arrival, Rooks fainted from 
loss of blood. I bound his arm below the wound as tightly 
as possible, and the next day a surgeon came along and 
stated that I had handled the case as well as he could have, 
had he been present. 

In the meantime I had instructed the men to keep 
watch of the Indians. They reported eighteen in the party, 
but no further damage was done except the killing of six 
head of cattle. 

On Christmas Eve of the same year, I took my family 
to La Porte to spend the Holidays, leaving three men to 
look after a bunch of horses. Two employees of Hook and 
Moore stopped at the ranch, notifying the men of the theft 
of a bunch of their horses. Thereafter, it was necessary for 
my men to keep close watch; consequently, they drove all 
the stock into the corral and were to watch alternately dur- 
ing the night, but thinking that so recent a theft of the Hook 
and Moore stock would deter them for a few nights, they 
concluded to watch only until midnight. In the morning 
all they found was an empty corral and a pistol dropped, 
probably, in taking down the bars. 

On a note of suspense, the transcript of the Elias Whitcomb diary 
concludes. The whereabouts of the original document or of any 
additional transcripts are not known. 



The Story of Chalkeye: 
A Wind River Romance 

An Unfinished Manuscript 


Owen Wister 


'The Virginian Starting off on His 

Honeymoon" sketch by Charles M. Russell 





Owen Wister, the celebrated author of The Virginian, 
made his first trip to Wyoming in 1885. On the one- 
hundredth anniversary of that unexpectedly significant 
journey, the editorial staff of ANNALS OF WYOMING is 
pleased to include in this issue, a chapter from an un- 
finished and previously unpublished manuscript written 
by Wister. The piece was titled The Story ofChalkeye: A Wind 
River Romance. A notation in Wister's hand is on the title 
page and states, "This was a first essay— begun in early 

1891 and never finished." This incomplete narrative of a 
Wyoming experience is said to be Owen Wister's first 
Western story and is considered by the author's daughter, 
Frances Kemble Wister Stokes, to be, ". . . among the best 
pages my father ever wrote." Because of Wister's contribu- 
tion to American literature, the story behind the discovery 
of his unpublished Chalkeye manuscript and his daughter's 
desire that these brief passages be shared with the people 
of Wyoming, a few words of introduction are in order. 


Owen Wister near the foothills of the Wind River Mountains 

The Chalkeye manuscript is alluded to in Owen Wister 
out West, His Journals and Letters, edited by Mrs. Stokes and 
published in 1958. From the brief references, the reader 
gathers that such a manuscript had been written and that 
Chalkeye the fictional character was based on a real per- 
son with whom Wister had become acquainted. At the time 
of her book's publication, Mrs. Stokes pointed out that no 
such manuscript had been located in her father's papers. 

Frances Stokes' son, John, found the Chalkeye man- 
uscript just before an old family home in Bryn Mawr, Penn- 
sylvania was pulled down in 1971. She retained it in her 
personal care until 1980 when she sent it to the University 
of Wyoming where a major Owen Wister collection has 
been housed since 1952. 

The first two chapters were published in the January- 
February, 1984 issue of American West, but because of lack 
of space, the editors declined to include the third chapter. 
They do, however, agree the passages in the last chapter 
are of the most eloquent descriptive content. Indeed they 
are. Scant dialogue and a word picture of early morning 
in northwestern Wyoming combine to provide the reader 
with an unforgettable impression of that region. 

The first two chapters of the unfinished novel are the 
beginning of what may have been one of Wister's most 
interesting efforts. Two young men from New York, Liv- 
ingston and Weeks have spent time hunting in the wilds 
of Wyoming. In short order, the author points out that they 


likely have more money than sensitivity and perception— 
they have shot and abandoned twenty 600 pound elk, sim- 
ply because they hadn't pack animals enough to tote away 
the antlers and skins. The pair does seem earnest and well- 
meaning, if not cognizant of the fact they are less than con- 
servative, conscientious hunters. 

They arrive at Chalkeye's empty cabin with an aging 
French-Canadian guide named Martin, a packer and a 
cook. Says Wister of Martin, "His father had been French, 
his mother a Squaw; both married to other people at the 
time, which was some sixty years ago, near the Sault- 
Sainte Marie." 

As they are preparing the night's camp, the impetuous 
young Ludlow Weeks kills Typo, Chalkeye's pet elk calf. 
As in some crimes of accident, passion or premeditation, 
the miscreant is more worried about being caught than he 
is filled with self reproach. Just as he is about to leave 
Chalkeye some money to compensate for the loss of the 
pet elk, the chief protagonist returns. 

James Hilary, a.k.a. Chalkeye, is the kind of hero one 
would expect in Wister's first effort. A truly free man, he 
is tall, lithe and with yellow wavy hair. Fastidious about 
himself, he appears to shave regularly and sends to St. 
Louis for expensive grey shirts of fine quality. These at- 
tributes make him a butt of jokes among his mountain con- 
temporaries less concerned with personal hygiene. 
• Hilary takes the loss of his pet with a great deal more 

equanimity than the apprehensive Easterners had antici- 
pated. Still, his terse, laconic manner conveys his disdain 
and contempt for their thoughtlessness. By the chapter's 
close, they have declined one another's offers to share sup- 
per and Chalkeye has retired to the solitude of his small 

Later, Will the packer and Bugbee the cook join 
Chalkeye for a game of cards. There is friendly banter and 
the interesting news that Weeks wishes to purchase Chalk- 
eye's property is imparted. Not unexpectedly, he declines 
to consider a sale. In a short space of time, the three moun- 
tain men are joined by the two New Yorkers. Weeks of- 
fers fine cigars and liquor all around but Will and Hilary 
have a bet on to swear off distilled spirits for six months, 
so Weeks' generosity goes begging. 

Weeks does manage to communicate his regret at kill- 
ing the elk. His honest explanation is that he is simply ig- 
norant of Western and mountain ways. Hilary accepts this 
rationale and the reader perceives his attitude toward 
Weeks softening. 

The talk then turns to another tourist well-remembered 
by the trio of Westerners. They had played reluctant hosts 
to a puffed up, gratuitous, arrogant know-it-all apothecary 
from Omaha. The cook sums up the fellow's many char- 
acter flaws by describing him as,". . .a very monopolous 
conversationalist." When the apothecary views the Wyo- 
ming residents' ranching and branding practices with con- 
tempt, they realize it is time to teach him a lesson. The 

man is compelled to strip in front of a crowd of cowboys 
and Chalkeye paints brands all over his body with rubber 
cement. The Omaha man is greatly chastened, spends a 
miserable night trying to scrape the glue off with a knife, 
but is later directed to a warm spring where he can wash 
away the adhesive. 

The point of this somewhat brutal practical joke is not 
wasted on Weeks and Livingston, who ask why Western 
men have such low opinions of their Eastern countrymen. 
Hilary counters that Western men, cowboys in particular, 
have been given bad press and that an inaccurate image 
of them is circulated. He declares them to be unfairly 
maligned when painted as drunken jail birds, bent on 

In this defense of the Western male, the reader can see 
the genesis of the character in The Virginian. That milestone 
novel portrays the cowboy as a true gallant— a knight of 
the range with a strict code of morals and a chivalrous at- 
titude toward women. He is well-bred and courteous of 
his own accord, and not so trained by civilization. 

The conversation between East and West concludes 
with each more or less defending its own turf and its own 
philosophy. Hilary condemns the Eastern journalistic 
establishment. Weeks defends the right of the press peo- 
ple to earn a living and Livingston gives the reading public 
a kind of credit for being able to discern the truth. The ver- 
bal interchange has become so abstract that none involved 
care to continue. They bid one another good night and are 

Sketch by Chart 
you see he don 

les M. Russell from page 29 of The Virginian. "Sit quiet," said the dealer, scornfully to the man next to me. "Can't 
't want to push trouble?" 


off to their respective beds. Wister closes the passage with 
a particularly lovely description of an autumn night in the 
Wind Rivers. 

Two quotations in this introduction are from the edi- 
tion of Chalkeye published in the January-February, 1984 
issue of American West. That issue also contains a fine essay 
on Owen Wister written by Wallace Stegner. Other infor- 
mation on the manuscript was extracted from correspond- 
ence between Mrs. Fanny Kemble Wister Stokes and the 
editor of ANNALS OF WYOMING. An additional source of 
information has been Mrs. Stokes' book, Owen Wister out 
West. The editorial staff of ANNALS wishes to thank Mrs. 
Stokes for offering the last chapter of the unfinished 
manuscript for publication in our journal. 


The slow cold day-break revealed the pasture levels 
along the river white and numb with frost. Wide apart in 
the dimness, the lonely figures of horses stood, and from 
them came a light sound of crunching as they fed on the 
coated grass. Moving over the stiffened flats went an ob- 
ject, sombre and deliberate, like a shadow. It was old Mar- 
tin early at his work of hunting the horses. He came upon 
the trail of two or three that his instinct told him had trav- 
elled across the river, and would be feeding up its tributary, 
Du Noir Creek. He got on the bare back of a cayuse whose 
turn it had been to be picketted, and with a rope for bridle 
rode away patiently at a walk, his shape showing plainer 
in the distance through the continually growing dawn. As 
pony and rider dwindled across the white stretches of 
meadow, at camp the fire was brought to life, and its flame 
shone red and far through the haunting grey. The cook 
squatted by the blaze, holding close his fingers that the 
morning chill had made feel thick and useless. As the first 
comfortable warmth tingled along his nerves, he shivered 
and shifted round to bring the broadside of his leg and 
thigh so the fire could play full upon it. Soon his heated 
overalls stung him deliciously all along where they lay tight 
over his flesh, and he dived under the tent and ordered 
the packer out of bed. Will came without remark, parting 
the tent-flaps and staring out at the wide frost and the hills 
beyond it and the tinge of crimson that had spread in the 
clear barren East. They commented with disgust on the 
approach of Winter as they took their way to the river 
where its bank was low. 

"Feel of the water," the cook exclaimed, quickly scrub- 
bing face and eyes with unclean fingers. "And my boots 
is hard as rocks." 


The packer took his tooth-brush— a veteran instrument— 
from his waistcoat pocket, blew some flakes of tobacco off 
the bristles, and dipped it in the stream. 
"They'll be needing hot water this morning," he observed, 
jerking his thumb towards the closed and silent tent 
wherein lay Weeks and Livingston. 
The two men, kneeling with the pail and coffee-pots, 
dragged them through the water, shook rinsed & filled 
them, & coming to the camp set them against the fire, 
whose flames now paled away as the crimson in the East 
turned to a golden pink & crossed the sky. Not alone from 
behind the ragged peaks where the sun would presently 
appear did this transparent color come; it exhaled from the 
entire firmament. Underneath it, the huge bare country 
east of the Divide, the empty stretches of waste, the treeless 
desolate mounds, the bald river-bluffs, all shone with an 
unearthly irridescence. 

"That's good!" commented Bugbee, looking up from his 
frying-pans to gaze across the river. "We'll get an early 

He referred to old Martin, who had come into sight over 
a knuckle of ground from the Du Noir Valley beyond, and 
was driving the stray horses in. 

"He's found 'em quick this time," said the packer, grating 
some chocolate. Mr. Weeks had intimated before retiring 
that the camp should indulge in this occasional luxury at 
breakfast. The men paused in their preparations and idly 
watched Martin and his horses. The group was still dis- 
tant; many acres of sage-brush and willow thickets lay be- 
tween it and camp; but in the clear air there was only 
dwindling of size, and no blur or merging of outlines. The 
cook could follow the twinkling legs of the ponies as they 
slouched along, and see how Martin's moccasined heel in 
Indian fashion continually kicked the beast he rode. Each 
movement of the miniature figures could be detected with 
the same clean-cut accuracy as if they were but a few feet 
away and being looked at through the wrong end of an 

"Lucky Romeo didn't pull out fur his own range last night 
and take the whole outfit after him," said the packer, 
resuming his work on the chocolate. 
"Romeo aint familiar this high up the river. He would to- 
night, though, anywheres below Jakey's Fork. So we'll 
hopple him, I guess." It matters nothing what plenty there 
may be of pasture where a camp is pitched. There are 
among the horses invariably several vagrant-minded ani- 
mals who go gently away through the night, cropping the 
grass as they wander. Morning will often find them drift- 
ing along three miles off, perhaps with a hill or a lake be- 
tween themselves and duty, still at their desultory and ir- 
responsible meal. And for the benefit of one unfamiliar 
with the customs of the country let it be explained that 
horses can not be picketted at night; They must have a free- 
foot to feed over a wide area of ground; for the "bunch- 
grass" grows sparsely, and they would not find enough 

were they tethered. Hence it sometimes befalls a party to 
spend half the morning following up their scattered horses, 
who will be very likely during the trip to have drawn sharp 
social lines, & so to disperse, when left to themselves, 
north and south in well formulated cliques. A long volume 
might be written about the Western pony, who is a com- 
plicated individual and observes life with the close atten- 
tion of the modern novelist. 

The party were in luck, as the cook had said. There would 
be no waiting for horses, and it remained for the New 
Yorkers to arise. Livingston came out of the tent, and went 
down to the river. Mr. Weeks followed after an interval, 
with a great sponge yellow as sulphur, and was pleased 
to find hot water ready. He bought various implements 
to the fire, and there achieved a limited but slow toilet, 
often stopping to gaze at the rim of the rising sun. 
. "Phew!" he said to Livingston returning from the river, 
"coldest morning yet." 

"Down here, too," replied his friend. "Think what it's pro- 
bably like up on the Divide." 

"We're liable to get snowed on any day now," said the 
cook. "The bread's ready," he added, lifting the cover of 
the "Dutch-oven." Old Martin arrived, having taken all 
the horses to drink. He nodded in silence to the company, 
and helped himself to a piece of frizzling elk-steak from 
the frying-pan. They sat down to breakfast on sacks and 
pack-covers, for the ground was wet with the frost. 
"It'll be warmer after a bit," said the packer, as they ate. 
It was still so cold that the elk gravy, once poured on 
anyone's tin plate, speedily became discs of white grease 
which, when mopped up with bread-crumb, even Mr. 
Weeks found delicious in this healthy primitive existence. 
The sun had moved up from the sharp ridges where it rose, 

and now sailed free into the sky. In a few moments the 
dull white plains of hoar-frost became a universal liquid 

Eastward the bad-lands lay revealed, clotted and lumpy, 
a confused region of low sterile hills, whose flaky colors 
were dry and whose shapes were cracked and deformed. 
They stood among one another like mummies or geological 
cripples, out of keeping with the modern earth, unusual, 
monstrous and older than all hills. The golden pink ra- 
diance that had filled sky and mountain and valley, increas- 
ing until there seemed room for no more of it in space, 
now vanished into the thinnest clearest air, in which was 
no motion, and the most utter silence. 
The light appeared to flow down on the world from far- 
ther off than any sun, with no breeze crossing the straight 
tree-tops by the river; and the continental range, coming 
from the distant south appeared to lift into an atmosphere 
whose sustained serenity grew like some intense magic 
more and more with the glistening day. 
Mr. Weeks was susceptible to effects, and this one, though 
it occurred almost every morning, always made a profound 
impression on him. 

"There's a good deal in breathing air that has never been 
in anybody else's lungs before," said Livingston. "And 
what you feel out here, and what you never feel— we say 
at Newport." 

"But this extraordinary crystal silence!" rhapsodized Mr. 
Weeks. "It's like the opening bars of Lohengrin." 
"Lohengrin made a lot of damned noise when I heard it," 
remarked Harry, and continued his breakfast. 
But Weeks was edified with his comparison, and after- 
wards wrote it to several friends. 






The photographs in this essay are part of the Owen 
Wister Collection housed in the Archives of the 
American Heritage Center at the University of 
Wyoming. They are representative of the writer, his 
world and his work. 


An 1887 camp at Jackson Hole. 
Seated, left to right, are George Nor- 
man and Copely Armory, Wister's 
Boston friends, along with guides 
George West and Jules Mason. Stand- 
ing are Tigie, an Indian, and Wister 
pouring a drink into Tigie's cup. 

The turn-of-the-century cast of a 
dramatic presentation of The Vir- 
ginian. Information indicates this 
was an early moving picture. 


Shoshone Children on the Wind 
River Reservation. The Pho- 
tograph was Made on One of 
Wister's Visits to Wyoming. 

Studio Portrait of 
Owen Wister as a Boy 


> aSjRl^ V,ac*ft 


Owen Wister in a Freshman 
Theatrical at Harvard 

Ladies Lunching 


Frances Kemble Wister at the 
Family Ranch in Jackson Hole, 
1911 " 

Owen Wister at Home, 
Late in His Career 


Aven Nelson of Wyoming, by Roger L. Williams (Boulder: Colorado 
Associated University Press, 1984). Notes. Index. Appendices. Illustra- 
tions. 407 pp. $29.50. 

Roger Williams' long-awaited portrait of Wyoming's 
eminent botanist does what the biography of a scientist 
ought to do: trace the maturing of a noteworthy intellect; 
outline the subject's place in his or her discipline, times, 
and locale; and, importantly, give the lay reader an under- 
standing of just what the scientist learned and taught. 
Williams tells the story of an English teacher who became 
a botanist by affinity and chance. Isolated in the Rockies, 
Nelson taught himself the complex science of taxonomic 
botany, beginning as a lone and unrecognized collector of 
Wyoming plants and making his reputation with the New 
Manual of Botany of the Central Rocky Mountains (Vascular 
Plants), coauthored with John M. Coulter in 1909. He 
achieved the pinnacle of his career in 1934 with his elec- 
tion as president of the Botanical Society of America. Along 
the way, Nelson conquered the doubts of Harvard bot- 
anists who assured him that Rocky Mountain flora were 
best studied from the banks of the Charles, surmounted 
geographical and financial barriers to his academic legiti- 
macy by picking up a mail order Ph.D. from the Univer- 
sity of Denver, and reconciled in his own mind the con- 
flict between religion and science that troubled so many 
in his generation. Williams gives his readers just enough 
technical botany to enable us to follow Nelson's develop- 
ment, but never so much that the narrative stalls. The 
author has also included eight of his own splendid 
photographs of wildflowers, illustrations that draw the 
reader into an enthusiasm for Rocky Mountain flora. 

Yet there is a deep flaw in this book. Historians of the 
American West have long faced the charges that studying 
the West turns scholars into buffs and intellectuals into 

moral monomaniacs, reducing tangled historical events to 
conflicts between Good Guys and Bad Guys. Likewise, 
biographers should avoid being simply critics of or 
apologists for their subjects. When Williams writes in the 
preface to Aven Nelson that he is "inclined to risk the obser- 
vation that there was a saintliness about [Nelson] that was 
sometimes misperceived as mere charm," (p. xii) the 
reader realizes that the author's underlying purpose is to 
vindicate Nelson's every action, and to discredit any per- 
sons ever low enough to have opposed the botanist. 

Such zeal leads Williams to distort some of the char- 
acters and events surrounding Nelson, and even to resort 
to shoddy scholarship and tasteless writing in an other- 
wise graceful and careful book. Williams is particularly 
though not uniquely at fault in his treatment of Nelson's 
longtime adversary, Grace Raymond Hebard. In order to 
highlight Nelson's virtue, Williams must make Hebard the 
embodiment of evil— a satan in petticoats. Every reference 
of Hebard is embarrassingly skimpy on documentation and 
long on apocrypha, sleazy innuendo, and cheap criticism. 
In some cases, as in the statement that Hebard retired in 
1931 with no research project in progress, Williams is sim- 
ply wrong. 

While the hagiographic tone of Aven Nelson marks the 
author as a biographer in the outmoded style of, say, 
Hebard herself, we should remember that the University 
of Wyoming's centennial approaches. Aven Nelson of Wyo- 
ming is indispensible reading for those interested in the 
history of the University, as well as for students of the 
history of botany. 

Scharff is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Arizona, 


This Is Dinosaur, edited by Wallace Stegner (Boulder, Colorado: Roberts 
Rinehart, Inc., Publishers, 1985). Illus. 93 pp. Cloth, $24.95; Paper, $8.95. 

During the early 1950s, Wyoming residents joined 
other Americans in worrying about and arguing over al- 
leged communists in government, the Truman and Eisen- 
hower administrations, taxes, and the Cold War. The state 
was embroiled in its own controversy as well over conser- 
vation, reclamation, and the national park system. Along 
with Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, Wyoming stood 
behind plans of the Bureau of Reclamation to construct a 
dam on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument, 
about eighty miles south of Rock Springs. The dam prom- 
ised to stimulate the shaky Wyoming economy by pro- 
viding construction jobs, badly needed hydroelectric 
power, and by storing precious Colorado River water for 
that all important future. However, thousands of Amer- 
icans shouted the proposal down in Congress, out of their 
fear that it could undermine the philosophy of the National 
Park Service. 

In the end, the latter claimed victory, after Wyoming 
Senator Joseph C. O'Mahoney and his colleagues from the 
upper Colorado basin states agreed to end their support 
of Echo Park Dam. The lawmakers made the concession 
due to strong pressure from preservation-minded Amer- 
icans, pressure caused in part by publication of This Is 
Dinosaur, by Alfred A. Knopf, in 1955. David Brower, then 
executive director of the Sierra Club, had been leading the 
fight against the dam. As part of his effort, he asked 
Wallace Stegner to edit a collection of essays on various 
aspects of the monument: its history, archeology, scenery, 
wildlife, and geology. Brower and Stegner hoped This Is 
Dinosaur might reveal the wonders of this remote, seldom- 
visited corner of Colorado and Utah. They joined with 
Knopf in hoping the book might persuade the fence-sitters 
in Congress to vote against Echo Park Dam. This Is Dinosaur 
soon appeared on the desk of each member of Congress, 
and the book proved a valuable ally in the victory national 
park lovers achieved. 

On the thirtieth anniversary of the battle, 77ns Is 
Dinosaur has been reissued with new illustrations and a 
new introduction by Stegner. Like the first edition, the 
book is meant as an informative introduction to the monu- 
ment and as a call to action to protect Dinosaur from poten- 
tial dams. This time, proposed dams on the Yampa River 
far beyond the monument's boundaries could dramatically 
affect wildlife, stream flows, water temperatures, and 
riparian habitat in Dinosaur. 

Stegner recognizes that Dinosaur has been at the center 
of controversy— and may soon be again— because national 
monuments receive less attention and less protection than 
national parks. While the National Park Service makes lit- 
tle distinction between the two administratively, visitors 
sense that "national park" implies unspoiled lands, breath- 
taking vistas, and incomparable beauty. The national 


parks, Stegner writes, "are the crown jewels. "(ix) Hence, 
dam-builders, oil-drillers, and nearby "developers" must 
move more cautiously to prevent encroaching on a park's 
environment. Stegner thus advocates conversion of Dino- 
saur into a national park, having in mind potential dams 
upstream. Calling the monument "superbly worthy to be 
a national park," Stegner describes it as "an outdoor 
museum of an extraordinary kind [which] imposes the 
dignity and patience of the ages on our petty, sweaty 
human preoccupations. "(x) 

Not a well known part of the national park system, 
Dinosaur is often missed by travelers in the region, and 
it remains unfamiliar to many in the upper basin. Readers 
will profit from the outstanding essays reprinted from the 
first edition: Olaus Murie and Joseph Penfold introduce 
the wildlife; Otis "Dock" Marston outlines the history of 
river exploration on the Green and Yampa; Eliot Black- 
welder explains the awesome geologic forms; and the late 
Knopf examines "The National Park Idea." While new 
knowledge of the monument's history and natural world 
has come to light since the 1950s, the essays remain fresh, 
perceptive, and enlightening. 

Volumes like This Is Dinosaur are rare in this day and 
age of slick, oversized picture books on national parks. It 
can be treasured as a thoughtful work about one of North 
America's rare places. 

The reviewer is a Doctoral Candidate -at the University of Wyoming. 

A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, 1880-1920, by 
Frederick E. Hoxie (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984). Bib., 
Notes, Index, xvi + 350 pp. Cloth, $25.95. 

The early reservation period (1880s to 1920s) in 
American Indian history suffers from scholarly neglect. Yet 
events during this era have shaped and determined Native 
Americans' place in American society as much as the 
colorful and more studied era of Indian-white military con- 
flict that preceeded it. In A Final Promise, Frederick E. Hoxie 
focuses on how white society's attitudes changed toward 
American Indians during these years. His study is the most 
sophisticated and convincing interpretation of Progressive 
era attitudes toward Native Americans to date. 

A Final Promise is divided into two parts. First, Hoxie 
describes the campaign to assimilate the Indians to 1900. 
American society recognized that it owed Native Ameri- 
cans a tremendous obligation. Policies reflected a desire 
to compensate the dispossessed tribes with membership 

within the nation. Animated by optimism, politicians, mis- 
sionaries, and anthropologists predicted that Indians 
would achieve full citizenship within a short time. The 
Dawes Indian Allotment Act (1887) represented the cul- 
mination of this phase. Hoxie breaks new interpretive 
ground in assessing the diverse motives behind it. A 
triumph of "self-interest meshed with idealism," (p. 44) 
allotment saw businessmen and politicians joining with 
idealistic reformers in this assimilationist panacea. 

After 1900, a dampening of the original enthusiasm for 
assimilation began to occur. Politicians, reformers, and an- 
thropologists lowered their expectations for the Indians' 
future. Instead of full American citizenship, a special In- 
dian citizenship status evolved which reflected the lowered 
expectations. Individual guardianship would continue, but 
the original late nineteenth century reformers' vision of full 
assimilation was altered. Negative Progressive era attitudes 
toward non-whites helped justify assigning Indians a 
permanent place near the bottom of the American social 
structure. Indians, to most Americans, were incapable of 
full assimilation. Educational programs and land policies 
reflected a "colonial" approach as Indian affairs, formerly 
a national concern, became the sole province of Western 
state politicians. Wyoming's Wind River Reservation is 
discussed as an example of the post-1900 change toward 
the Indians. At Wind River, policymakers unilaterally ap- 
propriated tribal monies to fund a system of irrigation 
ditches and canals. This development led to increased In- 
dian land alienation and greater control over native re- 
sources by non-Indians. 

A Final Promise is one of the most important books on 
American Indian relations to appear in recent years. Hox- 
ie's study contains many original, thought-provoking 
ideas. He argues that had the original consensus for full 
assimilation held, today's Native American tribalism would 
be much weaker. Instead, lowered expectations led to less 
attention being paid to assimilation programs. New leaders 
evolved who could better meet the challenge of the reser- 
vation experience. Certainly this is one of the most ironic 
and unintended effects of Progressive era Indian policy. 
Unfortunately, Hoxie does not develop this intriguing idea 
nearly enough. It is developed more thoroughly, however, 
in his 1977 Brandeis University Ph.D. dissertation. A Final 
Promise provides an interpretive framework for under- 
standing an era that has lacked comprehensive study. 
Future scholars will undoubtedly test Hoxie's conclusions. 
Whether they agree with his findings or not, all students 
of federal Indian policy owe him gratitude for a well- 
conceived study. 

Schulte is head of the Department of History at the College of the Ozarks. 

The Good That Lives After Them: The Lives and Legacies of Dodd and 
Dorothy Bryan, Vernon and Rowena Griffith, and Frederick and 
Harriet Thome-Rider, by Bob Wilson (Cheyenne: Frontier Printing, 1982). 
Index. Illus. 170 pp. $14.50. 

Bob Wilson is determined to praise his subjects and 
not to bury them. Commissioned by the boards of trustees 
of the Bryan, Griffith, and Thorne-Rider Foundations to 
write the history of their founders, Wilson serves his 
patrons well. This is not good history; it is the official, 
authorized, sanitized version. 

The Bryans, Griffiths, and Thorne-Riders were in- 
teresting individuals who made important contributions 
and Wilson does fill an important gap in telling their 
stories. Dodd Bryan was a successful Philadelphia in- 
surance executive and Vernon Griffith a large Wyoming 
wool producer before they turned their attentions to 
philanthropy. Frederick Thorne-Rider was the Renaissance 
man of the group as his career included acting, ranch 
management, New Jersey politics, and membership in the 
Italian nobility. The Thorne-Rider, Bryan, and Griffith 
Foundations, begun respectively in 1964, 1972, and 1976, 
provided $4 million in grants and loans by 1980. Sheridan 
(Wyoming) College and many other schools, hospitals, 
camps, and individuals have benefited from these philan- 
thropists. Certainly much good has continued to live after 

But if the reader longs for the other side, he or she will 
not find it here. This is the version without warts. One 
would think that those who have made millions might 
have accumulated some skeletons along the way. If there 
are, one will not learn of them here. Wilson draws his six 
subjects as paragons of industry, diligence, virtue, honor, 
intelligence, style, and benevolence. In one notable lapse 
from laudation, Wilson mentions that Thorne-Rider faced 
opposition as County Collector of Hudson County, New 
Jersey but then dismisses it as unimportant. The serious, 
critical reader is left hungry for analysis and substance but 
finds none. 

The book, which the author had published by Fron- 
tier Printing of Cheyenne, is more beautiful in form than 
content. The quality buckram binding and heavy paper 
give it an elegant look. But the editing is poor, if not ab- 
sent entirely. For a work of history the book is woefully 
short of dates. No footnotes or bibliographical references 
are included. Wilson's excessive use of exclamation points 
to punctuate every gush of elation about his beloved sub- 
jects becomes annoying. If nothing else, it would be a 
handsome addition to the coffee table. 

Mr. Derge received his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and 
his A.B. from Ripon College. 


Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-1890, 
by Ann M. Butler (Chicago & Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985). 
Index. Notes. Bib. Illus. 179 pp. $16.95. 

Prostitution, as a subject for serious attention by 
historians has been kicked under the carpet for quite a 
number of years. The generations of history scholars in- 
fluenced by Victorian and Edwardian moral attitudes cer- 
tainly knew about prostitution, but they didn't study it and 
they didn't discuss it as a part of the whole fabric in the 
story of the American West. To be sure, sociologists and 
psychologists devoted time and scholarship to it, while 
their peers in the field of history appear to have felt better 
leaving it alone. 

That has changed and there has been a plethora of 
literature on the role prostitution played in the formative 
years of the West. Several serious journals have published 
articles on it and some well-thought-out books have 

One of the most ambitious is Anne M. Butler's Daugh- 
ters of Joy, Sisters of Misery. Butler has conducted nothing 
less than prodigious research, examining the resources in 
twenty repositories in Wyoming, Arizona, Texas, Col- 
orado, New Mexico and Kansas. She made use of every 
possible kind of document that would shed some light on 
what has been called the world's oldest profession. These 
sources included cemetery records, census rolls, news- 
papers, jail registers, correspondence, police dockets and 
other like items. The final product is an informative and 
enlightening compilation of data on prostitution in the 
years between the Civil War and the turn-of-the-century. 

The book makes a solid contribution to the history of 
the topic under consideration. Butler's end notes and 
bibliography may not be surpassed for many years to 
come. Used properly, those two aspects of the book will 
serve as a superlative reference source on the topic of 

One may perceive flaws, however, since at the book's 
conclusion, there seems to be a little something missing. 
Butler is not as clear as she could be about the point she 
is trying to make. The book states that prostitution was 
a dreadful business and that the women involved were, 
many times, victims. But of whom or what?— themselves, 
the system? the generation? the economy? males of the 
species? If that is the point, there should be some stronger 
closing arguments. 

And too, if these women are to be painted as victims, 
it should be pointed out that there were other sufferers in 
the West of that era. The book details the violence, misery, 
general ugliness and high mortality rate associated with 
prostitution. All this is true, but every one of those misfor- 
tunes can be associated with other professions in the last 
half of the 19th century. The common foot soldier earned 
a mere thirteen dollars a month, was often poorly fed, often 
exposed to the elements and stood a good chance of ex- 


periencing a horrible death at the hands of Native Ameri- 
cans. Coal miners led wretched lives, working under 
frightfully hard and unsafe conditions. The grim lot of fac- 
tory workers, many of them children, became a national 
scandal. Real cowboy life was brutal and as different from 
the Hollywood image of it as night from day. In short, 
many other occupational choices were as closed to promise, 
personal fulfillment and upward mobility as prostitution. 
There were other victims. In failing to make that clear, 
Butler clouds the whole picture of work life in the 19th 

Still, the book is a fine addition to other social* histories 
of the era. It gives us all a clearer picture of milieu in which 
our forebears dwelt by doing away with the image of the 
saloon girl with a heart of gold and Paris wardrobe. 

Further, the author has a wonderfully readable prose 
style. It flows. One does not labor through the book, one 
breezes through it, picking up and retaining as much as 
she or he chooses. The information imparted by the book 
is easily assimilated, and that is an indication of a skillful 

The Reviewer is the author of "The Shady Ladies and the Scarlet Arts in the 

The Making of a Town: Wright, Wyoming, by Robert W. Righter (Boulder, 
Colorado: Robert Rinehart, Inc., Publishers, 1985). Index. Illus. Bib. 
Notes. 203 pp. $19.50. 

Today as oil prices continue to plummet and the fossil 
fuel industry in the west struggles to survive, one remem- 
bers those heady days of the 1970s energy boom in the 
Rocky Mountain States when oil exploration drilling rigs 
crisscrossed the high plains and coal seemed the salvation 
for an energy starved country. The story of Wright begins 
in that era and may be coming to an abrupt end in this 
one. These dramatic economic boom-and-bust cycles, 
which wrought so much chaos in the American West in 
the nineteenth century, continue with each cycle com- 
pressed and greatly accelerated. Robert Righter in his book 
traces the latter portion of the cycle for the community of 
Wright, but does not fully place the development of Wright 
in this broader historical context which would have en- 
riched and given depth to this work. 

The book begins with an all too brief overview of town 
planning in the American West. Righter, freely admitting 
his unfamiliarity with this subject area, admirably describes 
the process of town building as conducted by the Union 
Pacific Railroad, the mining companies near Sheridan, 
Wyoming and others. Unfortunately, no mention is given 

to the development of Sinclair (Parco) or Jeffrey City which 
were two towns established during other boom periods 
and for many of the same reasons that Wright was estab- 
lished. Also the Civilian Conservation Corps camps 
established near Gillette during the 1930s could be profit- 
ably studied to understand the problems which faced a 
new settlement composed of urbanites placed suddenly in 
a frontier environment. 

The author next examines the geographic, economic, 
social and climatic conditions which led the Atlantic 
Richfield Company to the decision to found a new com- 
munity on the high plains. The main bulk of the work 
describes in detail the theoretical planning which went into 
establishing Wright and the practical execution of this plan. 
The people responsible for the creation of Wright are 
discussed plus the various steps in meeting modern legal 
requirements, now necessary to town founding, which 
would seem so alien to nineteenth century entrepreneurs. 

This is followed by an evaluation of the town building 
process and examination of the existing community. An 
attempt is made to show not only what the Atlantic Rich- 
field Company did right, but what the company could have 
done better. The various anecdotes told by the people of 
Wright enlivens the narrative acting as a counterpoint to 
the necessary rendition of statistical data. The resulting 
work is a provocative if sometimes a "company" history 
of town planning in the twentieth century west. The harsh- 
est criticism that can be leveled about this book is that one 
wishes it were longer. Perhaps, Righter at some future date 
will continue the chronicles of Wright. 


Paige is a historian with the National Park Service. 

Gold Rush Sojourners in Great Salt Lake City, 1849 and 1850, by Brigham 
D. Madsen (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1983). Index. Bib. 
Maps. Notes. Illus. 178 pp. $16.95. 

Professor Madsen deals here with an intriguing 
subject— the interaction of Mormons and non-Mormons 
("Gentiles") at Salt Lake City during the premier Califor- 
nia gold rush years of 1849 and 1850. What is most intrigu- 
ing about it is the fact that the local population of between 
10,000 and 15,000 Mormon faithful was invaded by an 
army of around 25,000 "gold diggers" (about one-third of 
the total for the two years) hell-bent for the Pacific Coast- 
many of them not only non-Mormon but vocally anti- 
Mormon. This had the potential for a violent collision, but, 
like a comet brushing past the earth, it resulted only in a 
few sparks. 

In-depth scholarly treatment of this fascinating subject 
was pioneered by John D. Unruh, Jr. in a chapter of his 
book (The Plains Across, University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 
1979, pp. 302-337) entitled "The Mormon Half -Way 
House." Madsen treats the subject in greater depth, 
though with a narrower time focus. 

The author is to be commended for his scholarly ob- 
jectivity in handling the theme of Gentile confrontation 
with Mormons in their new Zion, staked out in the barren 
Utah wilderness. Because the zealous Mormons had got- 
ten crosswise with citizens back East— mainly in Missouri 
and Illinois, from both of which states they had been 
forcibly ejected— there was the possibility of fireworks 
when representatives of the two groups met again in Utah. 
Although there was frequent Mormon profiteering and a 
few instances of outright aggression against the emi- 
grants—climaxed by the Mountain Meadows Massacre in 
1857— this historic confrontation turned out to be mainly 

Although they approached each other gingerly at the 
outset— something like boxers circling each other— old 
grievances and apprehensions tended to be set aside 
because of immediate practical considerations, mainly the 
mutual need for trade, which resulted in what Madsen calls 
"The Great Basin Open Air Market." 

What the Salt Lake Mormons had to trade, mainly, 
were two things— a unique albeit crude haven in the 
wilderness for sick and weary pilgrims, and products of 
their creative mountain stream-fed agriculture. What the 
emigrants had in exchange was cash and material goods 
that were scarce in Utah, mainly wagons, animals, tools, 
implements, and other paraphernalia which they here 
declared surplus so they could slim down their outfits for 
a fast crossing of the treacherous Great Basin. In the proc- 
ess of exchanging goods and services, the latent foes 
momentarily forgot their hostility in their mutual discovery 
that they were all seemingly ordinary human beings, 
without horns or tails. 

The process of emigrant mental adjustment received 
its severest test in the matter of Mormon polygamy. 
Madsen concedes that this and other "strange customs" 
strained the Gentiles' capacity for tolerance. Another cause 
of their apprehension was the habit of Brigham Young, 
Heber Kimball, and other Mormon leaders to denounce 
publicly, and often with vituperation, the United States 
Government in general, and citizens of Missouri and Il- 
linois in particular. (Many emigrant trains composed of 
citizens from these two states carefully avoided the Salt 
Lake detour.) Madsen points out that both polygamy and 
anti-government polemics served the early Mormon ra- 
tionale, but that these and other eccentricities were muted 
after the aborted "Mormon Rebellion" of 1857-1858. 

The author draws from a wealth of primary sources, 
primarily eye-witness testimony of California-bound emi- 
grants and resident Mormons, the mainly tolerant rank and 


file as well as their leaders, who were more prone to 
political fantasy and fanaticism. This reviewer would 
dispute with Madsen only one of nis generalizations. While 
Madsen concludes that the majority of Gentiles left Salt 
Lake City with a generally favorable view of Mormons 
there, it is my impression from familiarity with hundreds 
of overland narratives that the reverse was true— that Mor- 
mon behaviour and attitudes were viewed skeptically, on 
balance, by most Forty-Niners. In fact, several decades 
would pass before moderation of Mormon ethnocentricity 
would restore members of that faith to fully qualified 
citizenship in the eyes of non-Mormons, and Salt Lake City 
would come to be perceived— as it is today— as an inno- 
cent tourist mecca, without the overtones of menace that 
disturbed covered wagon travelers to California. 

The reviewer is a retired National Park Service employee and the author of 
numerous publications including The Great Platte River Road and Indians, 
Infants and Infantry. 

The Dream and the Deal: The Federal Writers Project, 1935-1943, by Jerre 
Mangione (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983). Bib. 
Index, Illus. 416 pp. $12.50. 

The New Deal and the West, by Richard Lowitt (Bloomington: University 
of Indiana Press, 1984). Notes, Bib. Index, Illus. 282 pp. $25.00. 

The Rooseveltian response to the Great Depression of 
the 1930s, the New Deal, provoked controversy from the 
start. Attackers and defenders alike rushed into print with 
examinations of the general concept of FDR's plan or 
specific applications of that plan. The initial works were 
quickly followed by rebuttals, reformulations, and reitera- 
tiqns, beginning a process which has continued for half 
a century as new generations of professional and amateur 
historians have entered the debate. By now the bibliog- 
raphy of the New Deal is so overwhelming that seemingly 
there can be no gaps left to fill. Two recent publications, 
however, have found niches not yet occupied. Neither of- 
fers a new interpretation; rather, both address aspects 
previously left untreated. Jerre Mangione examines one of 
the controversial agencies, the Writers Project, while 
Richard Lowitt tackles the assignment of exploring the im- 
pact of Roosevelt's alphabet agencies on a hitherto 
neglected region. 

Aside from their common classification as New Deal 
history, the two works have virtually nothing in common. 
The New Deal and the West is a new work by a distinguished 
academic historian. It surveys in 228 pages, ten years, em- 
phasizing, as space limitations force, politics and govern- 
ment and slighting the personal and social impacts of the 


depression and ameliorative programs. In the recently re- 
released Dream and the Deal, Magione, the "amateur," 
treats at leisure the program which introduced the pre- 
viously alien concept of federal patronage in the arts (not 
without a great deal of screaming from the political right 
about socialism) into American life. He stresses the lasting 
contributions in literature and the other arts of his short- 
lived program. 

As well as in content, the two works differ in scope, 
style, and sources. Lowitt ambitiously surveys an entire 
region which has not been previously treated; Mangione's 
scope is more restricted, one previously neglected agency. 
In selection of sources the two authors differ, as well, 
Mangione relying more heavily on firsthand knowledge 
and interviews with his former coworkers and Lowitt pur- 
suing the more academic approach of extracting material 
from printed documents, primary and secondary. And 
style is markedly different in the two works. Lowitt writes 
in an academic style for an academic audience. He is dis- 
ciplined and formal without, however, being pedantic and 
boring. Mangione, in an equally interesting style, ap- 
proaches his topic as more of a memoir, letting emotion 
and personal reminiscences divert him from his main 
points in order to color his narrative. Each author is com- 
fortable with his respective approach, and the results are 
equally worthwhile for the reader, whether historian or 

Each work enjoys the added virtue of quality prepara- 
tion by its press. Neither is marred by inferior typesetting, 
and both include ample photographs. Both Indiana Univer- 
sity Press which produced the new history by Lowitt and 
the University of Pennsylvania Press which displayed the 
good judgement to reissue Mangione's 1972 work in paper- 
back are to be commended. 

Only rarely can one honestly get excited about a new 
work in history, especially one in the oft plowed ground 
of the New Deal. Because of the rarity of truly excellent 
works in this area, it is especially pleasing to report that 
two of that scarce breed are now available. 


Tinker AFB, Oklahoma 

J. Herschel Bamhill received his Ph.D. in history from Oklahoma State University. 

Mining Town: The Photographic Record ofT. N. Barnard and Nellie Stockbridge 
from the Coeur d'Alenes, by Patricia Hart and Ivar Nelson (Seattle and 
London: University of Washington Press; and Boise: Idaho State 
Historical Society, 1984). Bib. Index. Illus. 179 pp. $24.95. 

Mining Town by Patricia Hart and Ivar Nelson is a 
photograpic history of the hard-rock mining activities in 
a portion of Idaho known as the Coeur d' Alenes. Starting 
with the gold rush years of the mid-1880s, the book traces 

the region's development beyond World War One by 
means of photographs taken by two Wallace, Idaho 
photographers, Thomas Nathan Barnard and Nellie 
Stockbridge, whose photos record Coeur d'Alenes's min- 
ing activities, businesses, church, school and social events, 
architecture, and "cataclysmic" episodes such as fires, 
floods, avalanches, and mine-property dynamitings. Hart 
and Nelson have carefully selected photographs not only 
to illustrate local occurrences but also to reflect a relation- 
ship between the region's history and "contemporary na- 
tional trends." To this core of illustrations, the authors 
have provided an extensively researched narrative which 
begins with biographical sketches of Barnard and Stock- 
bridge and then expands to chapters on gold and silver 
mining, labor conflicts of 1892 and 1899, the development 
of stable, family-oriented communities such as Wallace, the 
problem of isolation caused by harsh winters and rugged 
mountains, and the persistence of vices such as bootleg- 
ging and prostitution in spite of the advance of civiliza- 
tion to the region. 

One of Mining Town 's subtleties is that, while the book 
has the appeal of a popular history of an isolated mining 
region of the Rocky Mountain West, it also has an inter- 
pretive element to it. Paying attention to technological 
developments in hard-rock mining, Hart and Nelson echo 
Charles A. Beard's contention that one frame of reference 
available to the historian is that of history being a pro- 
gressive movement upward from a state of crude origins 
to a higher level of civilization. The authors of Mining Town 
reflect this viewpoint to the extent that they depict the 
Coeur d'Alenes as advancing from a primitive condition 
of individualistic gold mining to a more complex situation 
involving corporate-controlled silver mining. This frame 
of reference is exemplified in the author's statement that 
"the trek from the gold rush placer mines of the North Fork 
of the Coeur d'Alene River to the hard-rock silver and lead 
mines of the South Fork was an irrevocable step from the 
American frontier to the benefits and restrictions of the in- 
dustrial revolution." (p. 27) To Hart and Nelson the revolu- 
tion in mining technology that the Coeur d'Alenes exper- 
ienced resulted in the region's passage from a backward 
time of frontier settlement to a more modern era of civil- 
ized communities. 

In addition to its illustrative and interpretive appeal, 
Mining Town is to be commended for several other points. 
In the first place, the authors provide a rather lengthy 
bibliographic essay that allows a reader the opportunity 
to sample the types of sources available to a Western- 
mining-community historian. Although Mining Town does 
not have footnotes, the bibliography enhances the book's 
scholarly appeal. 

Second, Hart and Nelson are expert at writing descrip- 
tive narrative, particularly in the case of architectural and 
technological detail. Their passages on the construction of 
a Catholic mission, Wallace's high school building, and the 

Northern Pacific Depot at Wallace are memorable points 
within the book. 

Overall, Mining Town is worth reading. It is somewhat 
reminiscent of Ed Billie's Early Days at Salt Creek and Teapot 
Dome which is another excellent photographic history. 
Besides being entertaining and enlightening, the book 
speaks well of the historian who tries to relate local history 
to a broader perspective of universal experiences. 

The reviewer is Head of the Western Americana Division, Special Collections 
Department at the Marriot Library at the University of Utah. 

Vanishing Roadside America, by Warren H. Anderson (Tucson: Univer- 
sity of Arizona Press, 1981). Forward. Illus. 144 pp. $14.95. 

How often is Marilyn Monroe compared to a 1956 
Cadillac? With intriguing drawings entitled "Marilyn 
Monroe Caddy," "Derelict De Soto," and "Post Civil War 
and World War II Optimism with Dolly Parton Sky, ' ' War- 
ren Anderson's artistry and prose immediately capture the 
reader's attention. Anderson's skillfully transforms or- 
dinary objects such as roadside signs, gasoline pumps, and 
automobile grilles into interesting cultural remnants in his 
book Vanishing Roadside America. This University of Arizona 
art professor is a keen observer of the American landscape. 
Anderson combines his talents as both an artist and author 
to document automobile-related relics from the twenties, 
thirties and forties that somehow managed to survive along 
our country's southeastern and southwestern highways. 
The author's straightforward message involves the belief 
that commonplace roadside images, especially those adver- 
tisements for motels, food and gas, are significant har- 
bingers of the past. Over fifty drawings and a humorous 
text explain how these cultural artifacts relate to and imitate 
American lifestyles, ideas, and well-known architectural 
styles. Throughout the text Anderson does not disguise 
his interest in preserving these vestiges of the past as he 
mentions that at least half of these highway signs are now 

Anderson intentionally chose a colored pencil draw- 
ing technique because of its similarity to linen-textured, 
polychrome postcards produced during the thirties and for- 
ties. The artist's illustrations do not convey a romantic or 
sentimental feeling but, instead, provide a realistic por- 
trayal of his unusual subjects. It is important to mention 
that Anderson's ability to discover and, then convev, the 
artistic attributes of highway signs and gasoline pumps are 
noteworthy talents. 


The boundaries for Anderson's study parallel federal 
legislation enacted during the twenties and fifties. In the 
early twenties the federal government financed the com- 
pletion of a coast to coast route, the Lincoln Highway; later 
in 1956, the Federal Highway Act authorized the construc- 
tion of our current interstate system. Each piece of legisla- 
tion had a substantial impact on automobile travel. While 
individually owned businesses proliferated along the Lin- 
coln Highway during the thirties, an area's distinctive 
regional character diminished with the rise of the homog- 
enized interstate system. 

Although he does briefly discuss corporate symbols of 
the day such as Mobil's Pegasus, Anderson focuses most 
of his attention on signs constructed for small business con- 
cerns. The author assigns each roadside relic to a specific 
category as he stresses the individual qualities of each 
craftsman produced sign. The Art Deco and Art Moderne 
movements strongly influenced both the shape of signs 
and the style of letters. Symbols of a bygone era, that are 
no longer appropriate today, are integral components of 
business advertisements; Anderson writes, "Thus the 
females are usually shown as sweetly standardized and 
buxom. The Indians appear glum and downtrodden." (p. 
89) Anderson scrutinizes even the vegetation found on 

highway legends as he explains the behavior and lexicon 
of early automobile travel. 

The author's text and drawings help to validate his 
conclusion that as pieces of material culture, highway relics 
provide reliable indicators of American life. As an off-shoot 
of the burgeoning interest in vernacular art forms and ar- 
chitecture, Vanishing Roadside America is a study that can 
entertain both academic and general audiences. Although 
other books such as J.J.C. Andrews' The Well Built Elephant 
portray the eccentric nature of roadside architecture, 
Anderson's efforts to document the ordinary or vernacular 
aspect of roadside architecture furnish valuable additions 
to the material culture genre. 

Warren Anderson finishes his book on an encourag- 
ing note, "For now, let this limited sampling of drawings 
suffice." (p. 139) Perhaps sometime in the future Mr. 
Anderson will turn his attention to Wyoming's gas pumps, 
signs, and buildings that still give Rock River and Red 
Desert a strong sense of time and place. 

Starr is the Architectural Historian in the State Historic Preservation Office. 


The books listed here are reprints of popular and 
significant works on the history of the Western United 
States. Many have been previously reviewed in Annals of 
Wyoming. Because of their enduring qualities, the editors 
of Annals wish to bring their availability to the attention 
of our readers. 

Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail by Theodore Roosevelt with 
83 illustrations by Frederick Remington, (Lincoln: Bison 
Books, 1983), Cloth, $19.95; Paper, $8.95. The original, 
issued in 1888, describes Roosevelt's ranch life in Dakota 
Territory on the Little Missouri River. 

Twentieth-Century Montana, A State of Extremes by K. Ross 
Toole, (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983), 
Paper, $12.95. This is the sixth printing of the popular 
history first published in 1972. 

Yellowstone National Park, Guide and Reference Book by Cliff 
McAdams, (Boulder: Preutt Publishing, 1981). Paper $3.95. 
This volume contains much information on the geologic 
history, wildlife, tree and plant facts, a list of attractions 
as well as charts and maps. 


Rocky Mountain Life by Rufus B. Sage, (Lincoln: Bison 
Books, 1983), Paper, $7.50. When the book was first pub- 
lished in 1846 it became a best seller of its time. The Bison 
edition is photocopied from a 1857 edition and included 
the oddities of spelling, punctuation and pagination of that 
edition. For example, it lacks pages 15 through 26. 

The American West, New Perspectives, New Dimensions edited 
by Jerome O. Steffen, (Norman: University of Oklahoma 
Press, 1979) second printing, 1981. Cloth, $14.95; Paper, 
$6.95. The American West is considered in the frontier con- 
text, as reflected in fiction and symbolism and finally, in 
terms of the rise of an urbanized West. Contributors in- 
clude John C. Hudson, Gene M. Gressley, Ronald L. F. 
Davis and Richard Eutlain. 

Perkey's Nebraska Place Names by Elton A. Perkey, (Lincoln: 
Nebraska State Historical Society, 1982), Paper, $6.95. 
Perkey has spent two decades assembling the information, 
which was run as a series in. the journal Nebraska History. 
Marvin F. Kivett has stated that the work is the most 
thorough done to date in this field. The material is 
alphabetically arranged by county. 

Mormon Country by Wallace Stegner, (Lincoln: Bison Books, 
1981), Paper, $6.95. Previously published in 1942 and 1970, 
the book is the story of Mormon settlement in the West. 
Since there has been such a tremendous amount of Mor- 
mon history published since 1942, a return to this standard 
is a must when considering the story of the Mormons as 
a whole. 

Halfbreed by Maria Campbell, (Lincoln: Bison Books, 1982), 
Paper, $4.95. First published in 1973, the work is the 
autobiographical story of a halfbreed woman in western 
Canada in the 1940s. 

Four American Indian Literary Masters by Alan R. Velie, (Nor- 
man: University of Oklahoma, 1982). Paper $9.95, Hard 
$16.95. Short critical pieces introduce the reader to Scott 
Momaday, James Welch, Leslie Silko and Gerald Vizenor. 
Velie shows how the writers draw on tribal antecedents 
and modern U.S. and European literary movements. 

Indians of the Great Basin, a Critical Bibliography by Omer C. 
Steard, (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1982), 
Paper, $5.95. This includes an alphabetical list of pertinent 
literature on the subject as well as recommended works 
for beginners and a basic library for collectors. 

Old Jules Country by Mari Sandoz, (Lincoln: Bison Books, 
1982), Paper, $6.50. The book contains a selection from Old 
Jules and Thirty Years of Writing and selections from San- 
doz' acclaimed Great Plains series. It is a stimulating sam- 
pling of her work and may have been designed for new 

Astoria by Washington Irving, (Lincoln: Bison Books, 1982), 
Paper, $9.95. First published by Irving in 1836, it is a history 
of trapping, hunting and exploration. A 24 page introduc- 
tion explains the genesis of the book, how it was written 
and Irving' s personal fascination with the American West. 
It was originally done at the behest of John Jacob Astor. 

Oglala Religion by William K. Powers, (Lincoln: Bison 
Books, 1982), Paper, $5.95. First published in 1975, the 
book treats with how the Oglala Sioux have preserved 
their social and cultural identity. It focuses on the nature 
of the uniquely Oglala values which persist, including 
modes of cultural expression. 

Gold in the Black Hills by Watson Parker, (Lincoln: Bison 
Books, 1982), Paper, $6.95. Parker tells the story of the 
Black Hills Gold Rush of 1874-1879. He is an authority on 
the source with an entertaining prose style. The book first 
appeared in 1966. 

With the Border Ruffians, Memories of the Far West 1852-1868 
by R. H. Williams, (Lincoln: Bison Books 1982), Paper, 
$9.95. Williams left the English Navy in 1852 to farm in 
Virginia. In the War between the States, he rode with Con- 
federate cavalry. First published in 1907, nearly 40 years 
after he had left the U.S., Williams produced an extraor- 
dinary memoir. 

Riders of Judgment by Frederick F. Manfred, (Lincoln: Bison 
Books, 1982), Paper, $6.95. This novel, first released in 
1957, is about the 1890s range wars in Johnson County, 
Wyoming. The protagonist, Cain Hammett seems to be 
based roughly on Nate Champion. The theme is small time 
ranchers versus ruthless cattle barons. Manfred is the 
author of Lord Grizzly. 

Their Fathers' God by O. E. Rolvaag, (Lincoln: Bison Books, 
1983), Paper, $7.95. The novel was translated by Trygve 
M. Ager and first published in 1931. Minnesota of the 1890s 
is the setting for the love story of Susie Doheny, an Irish 
Catholic, and Peder Hold, a Norwegian Lutheran. Their 
marriage is tested by drought, depression and family 

Montana, High, Wide and Handsome by Joseph Kinsey 
Howard, (Lincoln: Bison Books, 1983), Paper, $7.50. This 
is a good enough history to have been chosen by the 
readers of Montana: the Magazine of Western History as the 
most significant book on the state. It was first available in 

The Crow Indians by Robert H. Lowie, (Lincoln: Bison 
Books, 1983), Paper, $8.95. Lowie lived with the Crow In- 
dians off and on from 1907 to 1931. In 1935 he published 
his studies on them. The volume deals with tribal organiza- 
tion, literature, war, religion, the tobacco society and sun 
dance. It has been considered a masterpiece of eth- 



Adams, Gerald M., "The Pioneer Farthings of Laramie County," 2-7; 

bio., 56 
Anderson, Warren H., Vanishing Roadside America, review, 51-52 
Arnold, Thurman, 16-17 
Aven Nelson of Wyoming, by Roger L. Williams, review, 45 


Badgette, Marjorie; photo, 28 

Barnhill, J. Herschel, reviews of The Dream and the Deal: The Federal Writers 

Project, 1935-1943, 50 
Barton, William H., review of Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes 

in the American West, 1865-1890, 48 
Bishop, Mrs. Betty, 6 
Blanshard, Paul, 14 
Bosler, Frank, 7 
Branding Iron, (newspaper), 18 
Butler, Ann M., Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American 

West, 1865-1890, review, 48 

Carey, Joseph M., 22 

Coffee, E., 27 

Committee on Militarism, (C.M.E.), 14, 17 

"Cowboy Joe," University of Wyoming mascot, 6 

Crane, Arthur Griswold, 10-20; photos, 12-13, 18 

Cuney, 27 


Daly, Beverly C. (Major), 13-15, 18 

Dare, David D., 22 

Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West, 1865-1890, 

by Ann M. Butler, review, 48 
Davis, Lon C, 12 
Derge, John, review of The Good That Lives After Them: The Lives and Legacies 

of Dodd and Dorothy Bryan, Vernon and Rozvena Griffith, and Frederick 

and Harriet Thome-Rider, 47 
Dietz, William H. "Lonestar"; photo, 16 
The Dream and the Deal: the Federal Writers Project, 1935-1943, by Jerre 

Mangione, review, 50 
Dyer, Tim, 2 

Fleck, Richard F., "Homage to Rupert Weeks," 9; bio., 56 

Forde, Mrs. Betty, 4 


Laramie, 24-27, 31; photo, 25 
French, W. L„ (Reverend), 12-13 

Garnett, Charles V., 12 

Gold Rush Sojourners in Great Salt Lake City, 1849 and 1850, by Brigham 

D. Madsen, review, 49-50 * 

The Good That Lives After Them: The Lives and Legacies of Dodd and Dorothy 

Bryan, Vernon and Rowena Griffith, and Frederick and Harriet Thome-Rider, 

by Bob Wilson, review, 47 
"Gossard Versus Crane, National Issues Brought to the University of 

Wyoming in the 1920s," by William L. Hewitt, Deborah S. Welch, 

Gossard, H. C, 10-20; photo, 12 


Hart, Patricia, Mining Town: The Photographic Record ofT. N. Barnard and 
Nellie Stockbridge from the Coeur d' Alenes, review, 50-51 

Harvey, Mark W. T., review of This is Dinosaur, 46 

Hay, Henry, 22 

Hewitt, William L.,- "Gossard Versus Crane, National Issues Brought to 
the University of Wyoming in the 1920s," 10-20; bio., 56 

"Homage to Rupert Weeks," by Richard F. Fleck, 9 

Hoxie, Frederick E., A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the In- 
dians, 1880-1920, review, 46-47 

Idelman, Max, 22 

Iron Mountain, Wyoming, 2, 5 



Jones, Walter R., review of Mining Town: The Photographic Record of 

T. N. Barnard and Nellie Stockbridge from the Coeur d' Alenes, 50-51 
Jules 30-31 


Kelly, Elizabeth Richard, 22 
Kelly, Hiram B., 22, 24, 25 

Eddy, Sherman, 11 
Elliott, Joseph A., 17 
Erickson, Boyd "OK," 16 

Laury, Raymond H., (Reverend), 12-13 

Lions Club, 16 

Lowitt, Richard, The New Deal and the West, review, 50 

Farthing, Carol, 7 
Farthing, Charles, 2, 4 
Farthing Family photos, 3, 5-7 
Farthing, Grayce (Moore), 6-7 
Farthing, Harry, 2, 4, 6 
Farthing, Merrill L., 2-7 
Farthing, Thomas, 2, 4 
Farthing, Wyoming, 4-5 

A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate the Indians, 1880-1920, review, 


Madsen, Brigham D., Gold Rush Sojourners in Great Salt Lake City, 1849 

and 1850, review, 49-50 
The Making of a Town; Wright, Wyoming, by Robert W. Righter, review, 

Mangione, Jerre, The Dream and the Deal: The Federal Writers Project, 

1935-1943, review, 50 
Marshall, J. J., 13 
Mattes, Merrill J., review of Gold Rush Sojourners in Great Salt Lake City, 

1849 and 1850, 49-50 
McCarty, Frank, 27, 30 


McGlees, Mrs. Marion, 5 

Mining Town: The Photographic Record of T. N. Barnard and Nellie Stockbridge 
from the Coeurd' Alenes, by Patricia Hart and Ivar Nelson, review, 50-51 
Mud Springs (Station), 30 


Nelson, Aven, 11 

Nelson, Ivar, Mining Town: The Photographic Record of T. N. Barnard and 

Nellie Stockbridge from the Coeur d' Alenes, review, 50-51 
The New Deal and the West, by Richard Lowitt, review, 50 


Olmstead, Frank, 14 

Paige, John C, review of The Making of a Town: Wright, Wyoming, 48-49 

Peasley, Mrs. Helen, 4 

"The Pioneer Farthings of Laramie County," by Gerald M. Adams, 2-7 



Chugwater Creek Ranch, 4 

Edwards Ranch, 4 

Farthing Ranch, 2-7 

Hirsig Ranch, 7 

Lodgepole Creek Ranch, 2, 4 

Wallace Ranch, 7 

Whitaker, John, Ranch, 4, 7 
Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 4 

"Reminiscences of a Pioneer, An Excerpt from the Diary of Elias W. Whit- 
comb," 21-32 
Righter, Robert W., The Making of a Town: Wright, Wyoming, review, 48-49 
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, 15 
R.O.T.C, 13-15 
Russell, Charles M., sketches, 34-35, 37 

Sarah, John, 26-27 
Sayre, John Nevin, 14-15 

Scharff, Virginia, review of Aven Nelson of Wyoming, 45 
Schmidt's Boarding House, 4 

Schulte, Steven C, review of A Final Promise: The Campaign to Assimilate 
the Indians, 1880-1920, 46-47 

Segrest, Mrs. Merrilyn, 6 

Shetland Ponies, 5-6 

Slade, Alfred (Black Jack), 26-27, 30-31 

Slade, Mrs. Alfred (Virginia), 27, 30 

Starr, Eileen F., review of Vanishing Roadside America, 51-52 

Stegner, Wallace, ed., This is Dinosaur, review, 46 

Stokes, Frances Kemble Wister, 35-36; photo, 44 

Stokes, John, 36 

"The Story of Chalkeye: A Wind River Romance, An Unfinished 

Manuscript," by Owen Wister, 33-39 
Student Army Training Corp. (S.A.T.C), 13 
Swan, Alexander, 22 

This Is Dinosaur, ed. by Wallace Stegner, review, 46 
Tuck, Mrs. Sharon, 4 

University of Wyoming, 10-20 



Varsity Football Squad, 1926; photo, 17 
The Virginian, by Owen Wister, 35-36 
Voorhees, Luke, 22 


Webster, Herbert, 17 

Weeks, Rupert, 1928-1983, 8; drawing, 8 

Welch, Deborah S., "Gossard Versus Crane, National Issues Brought to 
the University of Wyoming in the 1920s," 10-20; bio., 56 

Whitcomb, Elias W., 21-32; photos, 23, 28 

Whitcomb, Hal; photo, 28 

Whitcomb, Katherine (Kate) Shaw, 22; photo, 29 

Whitcomb, May; photo, 29 

The White Mule Boomerang, 11-13, 15-17 

Williams, Roger L., Aven Nelson of Wyoming, review, 45 

Wilson, Bob, The Good That Lives After Them: The Lives and Legacies ofDodd 
and Dorothy Bryan, Vernon and Rowena Griffith, and Frederick and Har- 
riet Thorne-Rider, review, 47 

Wister, Owen, 33, 35-36; photos, 36, 41-44; bio., 56 

Wyoming Anti-Saloon League, 17 



GERALD M. ADAMS, now of Cheyenne, retired from the 
Air Force in 1978 after a long career in aviation as a pilot, 
staff officer and unit commander. A native of Nebraska, 
he holds an M.A. in International Relations and has done 
graduate work at the University of Wyoming. His interests 
are diverse including both the history of aviation and the 
history of ranching in southeastern Wyoming. His articles 
have been published in previous issues of Annals and in 
Sun Day Magazine, published and distributed by the 
Cheyenne Newspapers, Inc. 

RICHARD F. FLECK has served as professor of English 
at the University of Wyoming since 1965. For the academic 
year of 1981-1982, he was an exchange professor of English 
at Osaka University in Japan. He has published several 
volumes of poetry including Cottonwood Moon, Clearing of 
the Mist and Bamboo in the Sun. His "Selective Literary 
Bibliography of Wyoming" co-authored with Robert Camp- 
bell was published in the Spring, 1974 issue of Annals. 

JOHN ROBROCK is responsible for the artwork which 
illustrates the Richard F. Fleck poem and Rupert Weeks 
biographical material. Robrock has a Bachelors in both art 
and history. He has taught in Edgemont, South Dakota 
and in Douglas. While he has worked with all art mediums, 
he prefers pen and ink sketching and print making. Re- 
cently, he returned to the University of Wyoming to work 
on a Masters degree. 

OWEN WISTER was born of well-to-do parents in Pennsyl- 
vania in 1860. In poor health, he made his first trip to 
Wyoming in 1885. The experience transformed him and 
he eventually gave up a law career to become a novelist. 
His acclaimed novel, The Virginian introduced the 
American cowboy to the public as a hero for the first time 
in 1902. Since then, the characters and colloquialisms of 
that volume have become part of the American vernacular. 
For extensive and interesting biographical information on 
Wister, the editorial staff of Annals recommends, Owen 
Wister out West, His Journals and Letters, edited by his 
daughter Frances Kemble Wister Stokes. Mrs. Stokes is a 
gifted author in her own right, and her high-spirited prose 
is a fine addition to the journal and epistolary data contained 
in the volume. 

WILLIAM L. HEWnr received his B. A. and M.A. degrees 
at Adams State College in Colorado. He obtained his Ph.D. 
at the University of Wyoming. Hewitt presently is an assis- 
tant professor of history at Briarcliff College in Sioux City, 
Iowa. His articles have been published in previous issues 
of Annals, the most recent being an essay on the Univer- 
sity of Wyoming textbook controversy of 1947-1948, which 
appeared in the Spring, 1984 issue. 

DEBORAH S. WELCH is Project Director of the History 
Teaching Alliance in Washington, D.C. She obtained her 
Masters degree at Wake Forest and her Ph.D. at the 
University of Wyoming. The study of Native Americans 
is one of her major fields of interest. 



The Wyoming State Historical Society was organized in October, 1953. 
Membership is open to anyone interested in history. County chapters of the society 
have been chartered in most of the twenty-three counties of Wyoming. Past 
presidents of the society include; Frank Bowron, Casper, 1953-55; William L. 
Marion, Lander, 1955-56; Dr. DeWitt Dominick, Cody, 1956-57; Dr. T. A. Lar- 
son, Laramie, 1957-58; A. H. MacDougall, Rawlins, 1958-59; Mrs. Thelma G. Con- 
dit, Buffalo, 1959-60; E. A. Littleton, Gillette, 1960-61; Edness Kimball Wilkins, 
Casper, 1961-62; Charles Ritter, Cheyenne, 1962-63; Neal E. Miller, Rawlins, 
1963-65; Mrs. Charles Hord, Casper, 1965-66; Glenn Sweem, Sheridan, 1966-67; 
Adrian Reynolds, Green River, 1967-68; Curtiss Root, Torrington, 1968-69; Mrs. 
Hattie Burnstad, Worland, 1969-70; J. Reuel Armstrong, Rawlins, 1970-71; William 
R. Dubois, Cheyenne, 1971-72; Henry F. Chadey, Rock Springs, 1972-73; Richard 
S. Dumbrill, Newcastle, 1973-74; Henry Jensen, Casper, 1974-75; Jay Brazelton, 
Jackson, 1975-76; Ray Pendergraft, Worland, 1976-77; David J. Wadsen, Cody, 
1977-78; Mabel Brown, Newcastle, 1978-79; James June, Green River, 1979-80; 
William F. Bragg, Jr., Casper, 1980-81; Don Hodgson, Torrington, 1981-82, Clara 
Jensen, Lysite-Casper, 1982-83; Fern Gaensslen, Green River, 1983-84. 

Membership information may be obtained from the Executive Headquarters, 
Wyoming State Historical Society, Barrett Building, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82002. 
Dues in the state society are: 

Life Membership $100 

Joint Life Membership (husband and wife) $150 

Annual Membership $5 

Joint Annual Membership (two persons of same family 

at same address) $7 

Institutional Membership $10 

President, Dave Kathka, Rock Springs 

First Vice President, Mary Garman, Sundance 
1984-1985 Second Vice President, Ellen Mueller, Cheyenne 

Officers Secretary-Treasurer, Loren Jost, Riverton 

Executive-Secretary, Dr. Robert D. Bush 

Coordinator, Ann Nelson